Introduction: Energy Light


Each color of LED lights matches with a person’s resting condition. In the modern society, people, especially young people, are accustomed to stay up late and study/work overnight. This habit is extremely harmful to people’s health. However, because the harm is somehow implicit and often in chronic conditions, people don’t take it seriously. Following the criteria of critical design, I attempt to use lighting with various colors to visualize this threat and make people directly see what their behaviors have brought to their bodies.

Step 1: Sketches

I started from few different versions of looking. Scientists have suggested an ideal sleeping time to be 8 hours for adults. Based on this fact, the preset activity time for a person is 16 hours per day. LED lights in this device that I design include a whole spectrum: blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and purple. and each color from the spectrum has four sub-colors - a total of 24 colors. When a person is asleep, the sensor will be able to detect the existence of a human body. Starting with blue, the light will change hourly. Technically, after 8-hour sleep, the light will turn to yellow and then reverse its direction and keep changing its color every two-hour when a person is away from the sensor. After 16 hours, it will return to its original state - blue.

When a person is staying up late and stay active over time, the light will become darker and move toward purple and red, indicating that he or she might be exhausted. So, even if a person has happened to have enough sleep the other day, it is impossible to change the light back to its starting point -blue again. After a long period of time, the color will turn to dark red.

Of course, you could design your own style, they are all the same principle.

Step 2: Parts List

1. Arduino Uno


3. Touch Sensor

4. Servo Motor

5. Breadboard

6. Jumper wires

7. 9V Battery

8. AC/DC Battery Case

*In the green frame:

Force Sensor and stepper motor is a better choice to replace touch sensor and servo motor. BUT be care of the stepper motor driver can not work with 9V battery. (I've burned one. ;(

Step 3: Prototyping the Circuit

The fritzing diagram picture attached to this step shows the circuit I settled on. The circuit is pretty simple; It uses a stepper motor and its driver in the picture, also with a tilt switch. You could take the switch off if you like.

Plug RGB led's longest led into the GND and put R, G and B legs into 9, 10 and 11 respectively. Connect the touch sensor's signal output to 8. Motor's signal output to 6. Here I recommend organize all VCC and GND on the breadboard, it's much easier to arrange them together (As shown in the picture). I put two layers foam board as a base to adjust the height and position of the motor. Better use hot-glue gun to fix it.

The coding is attached. It took me a lot of time. You could change the colors you like (the last part, the maximum number of each setting is 100. Through different number's combination to change different colors.) The coding is set in second just for demo test. When you finish the test, just alter all f0 to f1, the light will go hourly. When you touch the sensor, you'll see the motor stop. Because I don't want the noise of motor to bother people's sleep and when you let the sensor go, the motor would rotate randomly.

The video shows the effect of lights (before editing the colors).

Step 4: The Outfit and Assembly

I used the acrylic board as the case by laser cut. Then I bought a special pattern paper from OPUS as the interface of the hole. Also, sand the acrylic board to create a fake fiber texture. The ball in the middle actually is a moon by 3D printing. But the size is too small to see the texture so I used watercolor to give the moon more color. The file attached is the case for laser cut. You could change the size (it is 16cm by 12cm now.)

Step 5: Final Look

A short video to show how it works!


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