June 01, 2015

Hacking IKEA Lamps to create interactive night-lights

Night-llights are a useful piece of furniture, great for helping children walk around the home at night and also for the older residents in order not to lose their footing. However most commerical products are quite simple devices that plug into hallway power points and can be quite intense with brightness and also their sudden reaction to movement.

With these thoughts in mind, the folks behind the sakeofmaking.com website have created an interactive night-light that is not only functional but also looks great as well. By using an IKEA Vate lamp and replacing the electronics with an Arduino-based setup, there is much more scope for control.

An ultrasonic distance sensor can detect how far away you are from the lamp, and then the LEDs inside the lamp are controlled in order to slowly increase or decrease their brightness, making it easier on the eye. With the use of NMOSFETS, quite high-powered LEDs can be used. Finally, a quick demonstration is shown in the following video:

To get started on your own version, head over to the lamp's Instructable page. And for more, we're on twitter, facebook and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

Need to control up to six high-current signals from your Arduino? Or add high-powered LEDs to your own lamp project? Save time and space with our N-Drive Shield for Arduino:

With the N-Drive Shield you can directly control up to 6 separate high-power loads such as high-intensity LEDs, lamps, motors, and relays. Incorporates 6 N-channel MOSFETs, each capable of switching up to 60Vdc at 20 Amps. That's enough to drive massive loads such as 30W and 60W RGB LEDs capable of burning your eyeballs right out of year head!

Each MOSFET is connected to an Arduino pin with PWM capability, so you can vary the power delivered to each load individually. For much more information, tutorial and to order - check out the N-Drive product page.

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