Aha2 - Another Bright Idea

It has been 7 years since we built the lightbulb chandalier and a lot has changed in that time. Most significantly we had a baby and I wanted to repurpose the light to help us see him at night on the babycam (Axis 211).

For this build I repurposed an original Raspberry Pi A and an LPD8806 LED strip from the old Office Nomads Beer Fund Indicator. We also had a number of battery powered led string lights that we used in our friends’ wedding. To get the string lights to work I needed to make a simple circuit using NPN transistors. I hooked up two strings to two GPIO pins making it so we have 32 RGB LEDs, and 2 LED strings. This gives us a nice array of options for a nice dim light that doesn’t disturb the baby’s sleep.

For power I used two apple 10 watt USB chargers, one for the pi, and one for the LEDs. I liked these because they have the standard apple power plug and I could cut up two long power cords and keep the mains voltage in a metal box and the USB voltage in a nice plastic box.

The pi is running a simple Flask api to turn on and off various LED sequences.
The Axis camera has the ability to insert 4 actions which I hooked up to the api. If I wanted a more complex interface I could just as easily host this on the pi and embed the video stream from the webcam. I think I’d also like to add 2 more stirng lights as they provide a nice quality of light compared to the RGB strip.


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