Final Project Proposals.

My three ideas all revolve around home automation. Something I have long desired to geek out in.

Concept 1 – On-Time Light Switch

On-Time Light Switch.jpeg

The idea is to replace the light switch in my wall with an Arduino, a motion sensor and an arcade button.

The Arduino will connect with an online calendar to drive several different behaviors.

  • Night time : lights turn on low or dimmed. They stay on for 1 min.
  • Morning (but after my alarms) : Light fades up from dim to bright. They stay on for 10 min.
  • Morning Routine (class days) : Lights blink/fade to indicate the amount of time until departure. 30 min out / 15 min out / 5 min out / GO
  • Arcade button flips through several preset behaviors (eg, guest mode, cleaning time, entertaining, etc)


Concept 2 – Guitar Pedal Wireless Light Control Center

Light Control Center.jpg

This device would act as Mission Control for a bunch of relays and dimmers that are running on each cluster of lights in each of the zones of my apartment.

The rocking pedal adjusts the “effect” be it brightness, color, pattern, etc. Primarily brightness.

The other buttons and switches control the different “zones of light. (each room tends to have both direct and ambient lighting.)


Concept 3 – Guitar Pedal Wireless iTunes control

iTunes Control.jpg

The rocking on the pedal will adjust the master volume. The tap switch pauses and plays the music.

Additionally, I would like to imbed the ability for it to auto-pause when I leave the apartment/area and to play again when I get home.



LED Vest in action.

Here is the starting sketch of the concept.


It quickly evolved into a vest format to ease up the complication of trying to fit everything in the suspender format.

I went a little overboard on the construction process by making a silicone sleeved , heat-shrink sealed, 10 LED unit that joined together with a connector. While this left me with a lot of versatility, it took way to long to construct.

You can see the overly involved construction process in these videos.

The final assembly ended up super durable, as it traveled well to Vegas stuffed in a carry-on (the TSA was very curious about it),  was stepped on, and had beer spilled on it during a concert.

The original intent of making it sample colors and add this into the animations was scrapped, as I was having some difficulty in figuring out how to integrate a sampled color into the LED animations that I was using within the time constraints I had. This is definitely something I am interested in figuring out in the future.

The final direction I went in was a series of animations that drove through 4 sets of parallel neopixel strips, with a push button cycling through the different animations.

The biggest leaning I found from the field was the brightness. It was WAY too bright to use during a concert. This was adjusted down to 40% following night one, but found that was still not enough. I made a scrambled attempt to integrate a potentiometer into the circuit to control the brightness, but may have been too intoxicated to pull this off.

Moody Raindrop

Sometimes it feels good to be a little blue when it’s raining. Sometimes you want to feel blue, but there just isn’t any real rain in sight. The Moody Raindrop provides you with the ability to get a little emotional any time you wish.

The white felt plushy resembles a single drop of rain that reveals its melancholy mood when inner-lit with blue light.


Concept Sketch

Drop Sketch.jpg


Prepping the workspace



Layout and cutting the pattern


I ended up stitching by hand. Thought I could use the experience/training of stitching by hand.. Hindsight says I should have used the machines for better cleaner edges.


(not pictured : gluing the blue felt eyes and quivering mouth to the inside of the felt before turning inside out.)



The LED cluster was essentially the same as last week with the blue LEDs glued into the styrofoam spheres, but I added a 5th light and heat-shrined+hot-glued the cluster of 5 lights together for a more even dispersal inside the final model.


Plush wiring diagram.png


The sewn felt skin and the electronics cluster come together with a hint of fiberfill to fill out the edges of the plush and to help diffuse the light another level.

The diffusion ended up OK, but not amazing. Still have hot spots in the center and a little dark around the edges. That said, my intended reveal of the eyes and mouth work like a charm.

Off – under light


ON-under light


ON – under little ambient light