Sleek Desk Lamp Changes Colors Based on Sun Position

[Connor] was working on a project for his college manufacturing class when he came up with the idea for this sleek desk lamp. As a college student, he’s not fond of having his papers glowing brightly in front of him at night. This lamp takes care of the problem by adjusting the color temperature based on the position of the sun. It also contains a capacitive touch sensor to adjust the brightness without the need for buttons with moving parts.

The base is made from two sheets of aluminum and a bar of aluminum. These were cut and milled to the final shape. [Connor] found a nice DC barrel jack from Jameco that fits nicely with this design. The head of the lamp was made from another piece of aluminum bar stock. All of the aluminum pieces are held together with brass screws.

A slot was milled out of the bottom of the head-piece to make room for an LED strip and a piece of 1/8″ acrylic. This piece of acrylic acts as a light diffuser.  Another piece of acrylic was cut and added to the bottom of the base of the lamp. This makes for a nice glowing outline around the bottom that gives it an almost futuristic look.

The capacitive touch sensor is a pretty simple circuit. [Connor] used the Arduino capacitive touch sensor library to make his life a bit easier. The electronic circuit really only requires a single resistor between two Arduino pins. One of the pins is also attached to the aluminum body of the lamp. Now simply touching the lamp body allows [Connor] to adjust the brightness of the lamp.

[Connor] ended up using an Electric Imp to track the sun. The Imp uses the wunderground API to connect to the weather site and track the sun’s location. In the earlier parts of the day, the LED colors are cooler and have more blues. In the evening when the sun is setting or has already set, the lights turn more red and warm. This is easier on the eyes when you are hunched over your desk studying for your next exam. The end result is not only functional, but also looks like something you might find at that fancy gadget store in your local shopping mall.

Sell your projects with Club Jameco

Everyone’s favorite electronic component distributor, Jameco, rolled out a new way for you to make a few bucks off of your projects. It’s called Club Jameco and looks like a great place to design, sell, and learn about new projects from around the Internet.

The premise behind Club Jameco is simple. You send Jameco a short description of one of your projects. If the folks at Jameco think your project will sell, they’ll post it on Club Jameco for some feedback while you write up the instructions and the BOM. Once your project is done, Jameco will build it, sell it, and send you a nice royalty check in the mail.

Already there are some pretty neat projects up on Club Jameco like a build your own transformer kit and a photodiode geiger counter. We’re sure Hackaday readers have a few interesting projects up their sleeves, so we’ll wait patiently until we see them on Club Jameco.

Tip ‘o the hat to [War_Spigot] and [PUNiSH3R] for sending this one in.