Turn Your Furniture Into A Light Show With Hyelicht

There’s something about the regimented square shapes of the IKEA Kallax shelf that convinced [Eike Hein] it could benefit from some RGB LED lighting, and while he could have simply used a commercial solution, he decided instead to develop Hyelicht: an incredibly well documented open source lighting system featuring multiple control interfaces and APIs. We’d say it was overkill, but truth be told, we dream of a world where everyone takes their personal projects to this level.

Hyelicht’s default touch UI

In the boilerplate configuration, [Eike] shows off controlling the LEDs using a graphical user interface running on a Waveshare 7″ touch screen mounted to the side of the shelf. That’s the most direct way of controlling the LEDs, as the touch screen is plugged into the Raspberry Pi 4B that’s actually running the software. But the same interface can also be remotely accessed by your smartphone or desktop.

You can also skip the GUI entirely and control the LEDs with a command line interface, or maybe poke Hyelicht’s HTTP REST interface instead. The system can even integrate with the Philips Hue ecosystem, if you prefer going that route.

The 5×5 Kallax shelf is the project’s official reference hardware, but of course it will work with anything else you might wish to cover with controllable LEDs. We’ve seen similar setups used to light storage bins in the past, but nothing that can even come close to the documentation and customization possibilities offered by Hyelicht. This is definitely a project to keep a close eye on if you’ve got the urge to add a little color to your world.

18 thoughts on “Turn Your Furniture Into A Light Show With Hyelicht

  1. Tom – thanks for writing this up. While there’s absolutely a place for quick and dirty project documentation in the name of “getting it out there”, it’s great for Hackaday to highlight and celebrate those who go to this level of public documentation and thoroughness.

  2. Maker here, thank you very much for the nice write up! I have an update for this project in the works that builds out the animations and updates Qt support to version 6.

    Love the other project you linked; text search/index for a storage shelf and lighting up the matching compartments. That would be massively cool to have in public libraries: “Your book is on K23, we made it pulse blue for you for the next two minutes.” Clearly shelf lighting is ripe for invention! :-)

      1. I needed a Pi 4b 4gb for a class, my jaw hit the floor when I found out the prices and availability. Our school offered a bundle with the pi, a small SD card, a 15w usb-c supply, a case and a HDMI cable for ~€120.

        I already had some of that gear, but luckily I found out that our local university also had a supply. Ended up getting the Pi, 15w supply and a passive cooling block for ~€70, I think I’ll print myself a case. To scare away scalpers (and probably in return for getting special stock for educational purposes) the uni-shop required your student number and added a note to the student number that you bought a Pi and can never buy it again.

      2. For the LEDs defnitely. For the touchscreen UI, using a Pi puts the compute in reach of a nice framework like full Qt. This in turn let me make a smartphone app on the same tech stack, re-using the code.

        Also, I re-use the same Pi as my home’s Hue bridge running diyHue and deconz with a ConBee II Zigbee USB dongle. :-)

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