Pi Weather Lamp Puts Lava Lamps To Shame

Weather matrix lamp

Representing the weather on an LED lamp in a manner that’s easy to interpret can be difficult, but [Gosse Adema]’s weather/matrix lamp makes it not only obvious what the weather is but also offers a very attractive display. For rain, drops of light move downward, and for wind, sideways. The temperature is shown using a range of colors from red to blue, and since he is situated in the Netherlands he needed snow, which he shows as white. A rainy, windy day has lights moving both down and sideways with temperature information as the background.

Weather matrix lamp

To implement it he mounted LED strips inside a 3D printed cylinder with reflectors for each LED, all of which fitted into a glass cylinder taken from another lamp purchased online. The brains of it is a Raspberry Pi Zero W housed in the bottom along with a fan. Both the LEDs and the fan are controlled by the Pi. He took a lot of care with power management, first calculating the current that the LEDs would draw, and then writing Python code to limit that draw. However upon measurement, the current draw was much lower than expected and so he resized the power supply appropriately. He also took care to correctly size the wires and properly distribute the power with a specially made power distribution board. Overall, we really like the thorough job he’s done.

But then again, what’s not to like about [Gosse]’s projects. In the area of lighting, he’s dazzled us with WiFi controlled Christmas tree ornaments, but he’s also delighted us with a Prusa i3 based LEGO 3D printer on which he printed LEGO parts and then made a special extruder for printing chocolate.

15 thoughts on “Pi Weather Lamp Puts Lava Lamps To Shame

  1. at first I thought “if you want to know what the weather is like – get up and look out of the window!”

    But obviously, reading the original instructable, this “weather lamp” is more of a weather-forecast-display than a simple “if I got up now and looked out of the window, would I see rain?”-device. The article could have reflected on that a bit better, I think.
    I do like the idea of converting numeric information (weather data) into color/motion, even if the outcome of this specific lamp isn’t my “style”. Makes me think about alternatives. Thinking is good.

  2. I don’t know how old you are, Steve, but this lamp has nothing (nothing!) on the organic appearance of a lava lamp. It’s neat and does a thing, yes, but precisely because that thing is not what a lava lamp does, your claim makes no sense.

    /Get off my lawn rant end.

  3. Just give me NWS hi def looping radar, I can make the calls. It’s like watching the game instead of listening to a poetry reading or dance of the game. When it comes to the stuff hits the fan weather, I want to know when to duck and when to watch and warn for everyone else.

  4. i am doing the similar project when i am trying i don’t find weather underground api and then after i am using openweathermap api but i am unable to get the all the animations like rain, snow ,cloud and wind please any one tell me how to implement these in 16*16 rgb matrix

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