LED Strip Notifies You Of The Light Show You’re Missing Outside

Unless you live way up in Canada, it’s not very likely that those gorgeous coronal mass ejections will collide with the atmosphere above your home. If they do, it’s a rare occurrence you wouldn’t want to miss. This is why [James] devised of a special alarm that would notify him when the Northern Lights may be visible in his neck of the woods. And what’s a better aurora alarm than a simulated aurora light show for your room?

[James] uses a Raspberry Pi to check data from Aurora Watch UK at Lancaster University for local activity. If the forecast reads that there may be some light above his home town in northern England, it triggers a NeoPixel LED strip to scroll through the color values of an actual aurora PNG image. This produces the same sporadic shifting of colors for a proximal ambient indoor lighting effect… though slightly less dramatic than the real thing. You can take a look at his Python script on github if you feel inspired.

9 thoughts on “LED Strip Notifies You Of The Light Show You’re Missing Outside

  1. More northern you live, more common northern lights get. In Finland it’s pretty common to see them if you go out on a clear night and just look to the sky. But still nice hack!

  2. Probably never gonna see auroras where I live, too much light-pollution, despite being pretty far north… I dig this concept… is it weird the word “sexy” came to mind?

  3. I need to build this! I’ve missed the two good aurora shows in our latitude this year because I was too tired. And we already have a led strip in our living room. New project is go!
    (Now I just have to figure out where the nearest aurorawatch site to where I live is…)

  4. I’ve missed a number of Northern lights here in Michigan. It’s not to light pollution as I live on the farm an hour drive away from major cities. It’s not due to sleeping through or not getting notification. It’s always to those blasted clouds. Wish someone could come up with a hack to shoo the clouds quickly.

  5. Cool idea, but not terribly useful where I live. We had some nice aurora a couple of weeks ago, for the first time since the late ’80’s if my memory is correct. I guess northern New England just isn’t northern enough.

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