Final Project – Pulse

Creating this volume activated light experience was fun and challenging. A large amount of the struggle was getting the code to work, but the result is worth it. Now the code is up so that others can work to build their own light displays with, hopefully, clarity and ease. Check it out below and learn how to build your own volume-activated Arduino LED system.

Pulse Instructable

Huzzah! and New Ideas


Here are my three ideas (in order of what excites me most):

Sound frequency activated lighting: The idea here would be that the lights could then be implemented into a sound bar or speaker to add extra flare. The format for the lights would be addressable LED rings that nest inside one another. This way there could be cool pulsing effects to match ones music.

Wishing Well: (Shout out to Ellen for this idea) Using the same LED rings I propose to design a glass with a motion sensor that would be filled with some water. If something was thrown into the glass the motion sensor would detect the object and activate a rippling light effect.

Add features to Plush light project: This direction would allow me to expand some of the interactivity with Ora, my plush light project. However, there could be some restrictive things here. I would like to make them small enough and soft so they can be thrown, this would be paired with a motion sensor that would allow the light to change colors depending on its velocity. I would also like to potentially have it sense body heat or have conductive thread worked in so when someone got close or touched it, it would turn on.

Plush Nightlight – Let there be light!

I finally have some good news, after reworking my wiring I now have reliable light for my project. Here is a link to my instagram post:

Last night I had an issue after blowing two of my three LEDs in my circuit. Long story short it did end up being because I didn’t use a resistor. The LEDs did get hot because they were getting too much power.

I decided instead of putting the LEDs inside the ping pong ball I’d stick them through the outside. This was done by drilling six holes in the ball and inserting the bulbs. I then connected all the positives and all the negatives on opposite side of the ball. At this point I knew I needed a resistor so I added that on one end. This lit up really bright.

I then took a clear ornament I purchased that is made specifically for diy purposes. This serves to protect all the internals. All I did to this is file a small hole in the shell that the wires could stick through and fed them through the built in place for the hook.

Lastly, I fit the faux fur encasement over the sphere. This was constructed like the two halves of a baseball. It turns out that this piece is slightly small for its intended purpose and I needed an extra 1/4 inch of material on each piece.

The final result is quite stunning. I would love to continue with this and make it fade or change colors or be sound sensitive at some point.

Plush Nightlight Update – The Dark Side

After having a very frustrating day of trying to figure out how to connect my LEDs to fit into a ping pong ball I had finally gotten them to work. The problem is that my 5v battery  appears to have ended up burning out two of the three LEDs I was putting inside and the third one flashes now. I think this is because I was trying to get maximum brightness without a resistor and it turns out I needed one.

My other guess is that the battery pack is running low on power and maybe it’s not able to completely power the circuit. I’m hoping it is the second option. Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of the piece lit up because of this. I do, however, have pictures of some of the wiring work I did and the ping pong ball that I was going to insert into my project. I’m currently in panic mode trying to figure out how to fix this.

I think this is a lesson in size scale – being forewarned about smaller being harder. Of course, I thought I was up for the challenge. I think as I try to fix this for tomorrow I may go with a bigger option. If you have any suggestions please leave them.

Plush Nightlight Prototype

The experience so far with building the first version of the nightlight has been exciting (Never thought I would have said that about sewing). I have learned quite a bit in trying to make my spherical night light.

The Pattern

I first started off by trying to figure out how to make a sphere. I looked on YouTube where I found some helpful ideas. The goal was to creat a bunch of lenticular shapes and sew them together. Yes, I know this was more challenging than a two sided pattern but I had to. Below is a picture of the shirt I cut the pattern from.



The sewing was tricky but not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I made sure to keep the tolerance the same and the result thus far looks nice.



Currently the soldering is not fully completed, but as of now I have two functioning lights with resistors and extra wire attached. The goal for class is to attach these to a custom usb/alligator clamp cord that I can use with an external rechargeable battery. Obviously this is not how the actual power source would be, but for testing purposes I think it’ll work very well.



Light Diffusion

The cotton T-shirt material along with the batting allows for ample light to get through the material without it being too bright. I think this is ideal for a night light. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture when I tested it and at the moment will not be able to find a dark enough space until later. (Update to come).

Plush Nightlight

Here are the three designs I am considering making.

Idea 1 – Fuzzy Levitating Orb


Not exactly sure how to get the orb to levitate at the moment, but it would be super awesome to create this ethereal floating light. I could see it being a popular lighting item among kids, as well as adults.

Idea 2 – Bathroom Nightlight


You probably have never seen a glowing turd, but hey there’s always a first. Thought this would be a funny plush nightlight to have in the bathroom. However, I’m sure it wouldn’t only end up being used there.




Idea 3 – Donut


This idea puts a plush, donut-shaped object on a stand to create a funky modern lamp. Simple. Clean. Geometric.

Arduino Lesson 3

Another good time learning some more about Arduino. I got both the lessons to function and came up with some modifications to get a two button switch going. It’s a great break from some of the other work I have to do! Check out what I did here.

The code I used for my solution to the double button switch is as follows:

// set pin numbers:
const int buttonPin1 = 2;// the number of the pushbutton pin
const int buttonPin2 = 3;
const int ledPin = 13; // the number of the LED pin

// variables will change:
int buttonState1 = 0;// variable for reading the pushbutton status
int buttonState2 = 1;

void setup() {
 // initialize the LED pin as an output:
 pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
 // initialize the pushbutton pin as an input:
 pinMode(buttonPin1, INPUT);
 pinMode(buttonPin2, INPUT);

void loop() {
 // read the state of the pushbutton value:
 buttonState1 = digitalRead(buttonPin1);
 buttonState2 = digitalRead(buttonPin2);

// check if the pushbutton is pressed.
 // if it is, the buttonState is HIGH:
 if (buttonState1 == LOW) {
 // turn LED on:
 digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);
 if (buttonState2 == LOW) {
 // turn LED off:
 digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);