Interactive Hanging LED Lamp

by gracie15

For my final project, I designed and built an interactive hanging lamp that changes behavior based on one’s proximity to the lamp.  The design consists of a spherical base structure made of plywood, LED lights, flower-shaped cutouts made of mylar, a proximity sensor, and an Arduino board.   The lights are programmed so that when someone stands close to the lamp, the lights turn on and remain steady, when one moves a slight distance away, the lights flash in an alternating pattern, and when one is much further away, the lights turn off.

The base structure was inspired by and built using Jennifer Jacob’s Codeable Objects library in Processing. The structure is approximately 20 inches in height, and about 12 inches at its maximum diameter. This went beyond the parameters which the codeable objects library allows you to use, but with some tweaks I was able to achieve the my desired size. Here is an image of the resulting 3D design as well as the 2D parts that were laser cut:

The base structure took quite a bit of trial and error to laser cut. At first, the design was too large to fit in the laser cutter. Also, the notches on the top and bottom pieces were too deep but after some adjustments and experimentation, I was able to laser cut the pieces correctly.

The 36 white LED lights were attached and wired to the lamp through the use of solder and copper tape lining the ribs of the base structure .  The proximity sensor was also wired using copper tape as well as some insulated wire. Both the sensor and LEDs were wired to the LilyPad Arduino board using copper tape and solder.

Initial test of the lights after the Arduino was attached:

Attaching the laser cut flower shapes:

The finished product!

Link to Presentation:

Link to the Arduino code: <tbd>