Tag Archives: Light

ESP8266 touchscreen WiFi light controller and clock


Spiros Papadimitriou has build a WiFi light controller and clock based on ESP8266:

A couple of months ago I picked up cheap WiFi-controlled LED bulbs (one among dozens of very similar devices), after seeing them at a friend’s place. This turned out to be an excuse to play with the ESP8266, which has inspired several hacks. I was overall very happy with these bulbs: decent Android and iOS apps and, compared to fancier solutions (e.g., Philips Hue or Belkin WeMo), they do not require any proprietary base stations, and you can’t beat the price! However, switching off the lights before falling asleep involved hunting for the phone, opening the app, and waiting for it to scan the network; not an ideal user experience. I was actually missing our old X10 alarm clock controller (remember those?), so I decided to make one from scratch, because… why not?

ESP8266 touchscreen WiFi light controller and clock – [Link]

Basic Automotive Lighting Control with MCU

The electronics trend in automotive is continuously rising due to the demand in the market. The technological developments are now into embedded system in which the manufacturers are developing products that suits to the needs of the people. In this design, it features a automotive lighting control using an MCU with S12 CPU core, 25 MHz bus and up to 240 KB on-chip flash with Error Correction Code (ECC). The timer interface module (TIM) supports up to eight channels that provide a range of 16-bit input capture, output compare, counter and pulse accumulator functions. The on-chip SRAM is up to 12KB while 240KB for flash and 4KB for EEPROM.

The design is comprised of S9S12G240F0CLF 16-bit microcontrollers that serves as the host of the automotive lighting control. It directly communicates with MC10XS6325EK high side driver for the halogen lamps and LEDs that are used in the automotive lighting module. The capacitors connected to VBAT improve emission and immunity performances the same case on VCC while the one connected to CP is charge pump tank capacitor. The capacitor that are connected to OUT1 to OUT5 are for sustaining ESG gun and fast transient pulses that improve emission and immunity performances while the one connected to OUT6 is for sustaining reverse battery voltage. The resistors closed to CSNS pin are for output current sensing and low pass filter removing noise while the ones connected to SYNCB and smart power CSNS are pull-up resistors for the synchronization of A/D conversion. The watchdog timer IN1 to IN4 resistors helps to withstand high voltage. The 20V zener diode and a regular diode are used for the protection of the entire system from possible voltage transients with load or no load while the 5V zener diode is used to ensure 5V supply for the MCU and other components that operates within that range of voltage.

This design is also applicable to space-constrained applications, body controllers, door modules, HVAC, smart actuators, and some related industrial controlling applications with only few external components needed for modifications. It is also a good choice for automotive technological developments and experiments. Since it is targeted generic automotive applications and some intensive applications, therefore it is durable compared to a regular MCUs.

Basic Automotive Lighting Control with MCU – [Link]

Automatic Light Switching System with Dimmer

Manual switching of outdoor lights in houses or roadways can be sometimes really inconvenient especially when we are far away or still at work. Sometimes this becomes an opportunity for thieves to infiltrate houses or a possibility of accident in roadways if night comes and our outdoor lights are still OFF. That is why the goal of this circuit is to automatically switch ON outdoor lights when it senses that it is getting dark and switch OFF lights when it’s daytime.

This type of light switching system is what we can usually see installed in streetlights or houses that are implementing automatic switching of outdoor lights. The system is not just limited to switching ON/OFF lights, it can also adjust the brightness of the lights so that it can just supply the right amount of luminance on the area required. This system is composed of a photocell, a receptacle, a ballast (with dimming control), and a lamp powered by the 220VAC mains. The photocell measures the light intensity level in an area and sends this data in a form of voltages (ranging from 0-10VDC) for the dimming control of the ballast. Based on the level of light intensity sensed by the photocell, the ballast will adjust the brightness of the lamp.

The whole system is supported by the TE Connectivity dimming receptacle 2213362-1. The photocell and ballast are connected through this receptacle. This dimming receptacle supports ANSI standard dimmable photocells with 5 positions (3 power contacts and 2 dimming signal contacts). Its power contacts can handle voltages up to 480V AC/DC provided that the maximum current passing through it will not exceed 15A. The dimming contacts of this receptacle supports 0-10VDC dimming method with a maximum current of 0.10A

Automatic Light Switching System with Dimmer – [Link]

A Tiny Light sensor


The TSL2584TSV from the Austrian company ams AG is a highly sensitive light-to-digital converter chip that converts light intensity into a digital signal output via its I2C interface. The chip sensors consist of one broadband photodiode (sensitive to visible plus infrared light) an infrared sensitive photodiode and a photopic infrared-blocking filter on a single CMOS IC. Two integrating ADCs convert the photodiode currents into a digital output that represents the irradiance measured by each sensor channel.

The digital output value can be used by an external processor where the illuminance (ambient light level) in lux can be derived using an empirical formula to approximate the sensitivity response of the eye. The TSL2584TSV can also generate an interrupt which remains asserted until cleared by firmware. The chip operates from a supply rail between 2.7 and 3.6 V and can handle a maximum light intensity of 33000 lux. The chip is packaged in a 6-pad TSV outline measuring just 1.66 x 1.145 x 0.32 mm.

A Tiny Light sensor – [Link]

Home Automation Lighting Control



This device is a home automation lighting solution based on the presence of a person inside the room. When a person enters or leaves the room, the circuit automatically turns the lights of a room ON and OFF respectively. It also has a memory element which eliminates undesired switching of the lights in the event of more than one person entering or leaving the room

Home Automation Lighting Control – [Link]

World’s first light-activated, molecule-sized switch gets turned on


by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:

In the pursuit of ever-shrinking circuitry for nanotechnology electronics, increasingly smaller devices and components are being developed. Now researchers at the University of Konstanz and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) claim to have micro-miniaturized the humble electrical switch all the way down to molecule size and proven its operation for the very first time. Unable to flick such a tiny switch mechanically, however, the researchers instead used light to turn it on.

World’s first light-activated, molecule-sized switch gets turned on – [Link]

Hacking a LAMPAN IKEA lamp to add RGB light and BT


by Jesus Echavarria:

This project starts a few weeks ago. My six years old daughter usually sleeps with a light on in her bedroom. Talking with her, we decide to hack her LAMPAN Ikea lamp to make some improvements, including a manual RGB controller to set the light colour, a timeout to turn off the light after 30 minutes without changes and a bluetooth connection to control the lamp with a smartphone or tablet. So, if you continue reading the post, you’ll see what we develop!

Hacking a LAMPAN IKEA lamp to add RGB light and BT – [Link]

The future looks bright for graphene


by elektor.com:

The wonder material with so many extraordinary properties has found its way out of the research lab and into a commercial product. This new product will surely posses super powers and allow us to do things we thought impossible and probably change our lives for ever. Well, actually no. In this case Graphene has been used in the reinvention of what was arguably the first commercial electrical device patented back in 1879. It is perilously close to April 1st but the National Graphene Institute has announced they will be producing a light bulb based on graphene.

The light bulb has an LED shaped like a filament coated in graphene. It is thought the new lamp will use 10 % less energy compared to conventional light bulbs. Manufacturing costs are also lower and it will be made using more sustainable components. The company behind this new light bulb is Graphene Lighting. Professor Colin Bailey is a director of the company and also deputy vice-chancellor at Manchester University. According to Prof Bailey the light bulb should be available later this year and will be priced around $22.

The future looks bright for graphene – [Link]

CleverLight – Affordable Smart Wi-Fi LED Light Bulb


We can control almost everything from our smartphone, tablet or smart watch these days, and thanks to the CleverLight™ Wi-Fi LED bulb, you can now control your lighting remotely without additional box.

We are pleased to announce that we have launched a new and unique product CleverLight™ Wi-Fi LED bulb.

Installation is as simple as removing your old bulb and installing CleverLight™ Wi-Fi LED bulb. Wall switch retains functionality.

In comparison to an incandescent bulb which lasts approximately 1,000 hours, CleverLight™ Wi-Fi LED bulb last at least 25,000 hours apiece at an estimated lifetime more than 20 years. With our LED technology 85 percent less power is needed than incandescent bulbs. CleverLight™ using up to 9 watts compared to a 60 watt incandescent bulb. Be smart with your energy.

To create the best user experience possible, we use Smart Config™ — a one-step and one-time process used to connect the CleverLight™ to a Wi-Fi network.
Just connect your Wi-Fi enabled phone or tablet to your access point, then enter your network’s password into the CleverLight™ App, and the setup process completes in less than thirty seconds.

CleverLight – Affordable Smart Wi-Fi LED Light Bulb – [Link]

VL6180X – Proximity sensor, gesture and ambient light sensing (ALS) module


The VL6180X is the latest product based on ST’s patented FlightSenseTMtechnology. This is a ground-breaking technology allowing absolute distance to be measured independent of target reflectance. Instead of estimating the distance by measuring the amount of light reflected back from the object (which is significantly influenced by color and surface), the VL6180X precisely measures the time the light takes to travel to the nearest object and reflect back to the sensor (Time-of-Flight).

Combining an IR emitter, a range sensor and an ambient light sensor in a three-in-one ready-to-use reflowable package, the VL6180X is easy to integrate and saves the end-product maker long and costly optical and mechanical design optimizations.

VL6180X – Proximity sensor, gesture and ambient light sensing (ALS) module – [Link]