Introduction: WAVEbuoy

About: Adventures in Creativity and Innovation, Design, Engineering, Making, Fixing, and Tinkering

The WAVEbuoy is a arduino lamp connected to the internet that displays the current wave height of any of the National Data Buoy Centre's wave buoys.

This lamp is currently connected to the Sevenstones Lightship buoy that gives an indication of swell approaching Cornwall in the UK. The lamp can also be connected to any surfing location covered by magicseaweed.com

RED - High surf alert

GREEN - Medium swell

BLUE - Low swell

Parts needed:

  • Arduino UNO & Ethernet shield
  • Light bulb like this one Link
  • 3 Colour RGB SMD LED Module Link
  • Breadboard
  • Jumper wires

The case....its up to you how you encase it. Im a carpenter by trade and i had the ability to use some scrap pieces of oak. You could house it in all sorts of ready made boxes or lamps. The white dome on top is a lightbulb that i have cut in half.

Step 1: Build the Circuit

Its a very simple circuit using 2 RGB modules and 3 resistors. Just follow the diagrams. If you need the fritzing file let me know.

I know i could improve this by using a PCB, but i just sawed off a small section of the breadboard and stuck it in the oak case.

Step 2: The Code

Here is the arduino code. Just change the link to your local buoy listed here on the Google map.


Not all of them have the 'Significant Wave Height' variable so check first.

With a slight edit you can also pull data from any location covered at magicseaweed by using the 'Swell' variable


Replace the id=1 in the link to your local spot the id can be found by visiting the spot on msw and looking in the link.

Let me know if you integrate this into anything interesting.





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    9 Discussions

    Very smart & useful system~~ cool~. I've seen many monitoring system, but I meet the first time about "wave height". Good work well.

    hi i cant seem to find a rss feed of surf spots on surfline. You could edit the code to scrape the webpage possibly. Worth asking on the arduino forums

    If it works with magic seaweed then
    Would it work with other sites such as surfline? If it doesn't why not?


    3 years ago

    Love this idea, I'm constantly tracking the buoys when swell is due, will build one. My wife will hate it, bonus. Can you integrate an alarm? For example if the swell is over 2m@10s an alarm goes off at 5:00am to get you up to check it? Would prevent you missing those sneaky swells that they don't forecast.

    Thanks Benadski - ive now updated the code. I am also now working on adding a feature that pulses the light based on the wave period.

    Very nice! But check the code, the green led is never turned on... Have you submitted the most recent code?

    HaHa...kind of yes. Actually i was monitoring a wave buoy on my laptop for a potential windswell recently, but we have a newborn daughter that i was pacing up and down the hallway trying to get to sleep when i thought i wonder if i could make some sort of indicator that didnt require looking at a screen.

    So, this sits on your desk at work, and as soon as it flashes red, you shrug off your suit, revealing your wetsuit, and dash out to grab your board off the top of your VW camper?