Here's a sensor-light that will let you know what temperature it is outside the moment you step out of bed... and prevent you from stubbing your toe in the process (well, I hope).
The story begins with a tragedy. I got out of bed one morning, stubbed/broke my toe and suffered for a month because of it. I swore, no more!
The problem is that I'm lazy when I'm waking up. The effort of reaching over to the lamp is just too much. If only a light would come on the moment my foot hit the floor. Eureka!
Now, a rug that turns on a light sounded way too easy, so I thought of another annoying ritual of the morning: checking the temperature in order to decide what to wear. What if the light also told me roughly what temperature it was so I'd know weather [sic] to wear shorts and a t-shirt or a parka and snow pants? Sounds great to me.
I've broken the instructions into five chapters:
- The rug sensor - The design for the rug sensor is pretty straight forward and follows what a lot of other DDR pads have done. I found this simple electronic button by gitterbug23 a great inspiration for materials.
- The light - There are a lot of ways to make a light, and Instructables offers many options to explore. You can follow the instruction I offer, or choose your own. I chose a "rustic" approach, which probably ranks average in time and difficulty requirements (when compared to other solutions on this site). Since the electronics used don't generate much heat, the actual housing isn't much of a concern (as in, building a paper lamp is perfectly fine). If you chose a different lamp, make sure that it can house the electronics: 3.2"x4"x.7" for the SBC plus about 0.2" around for input and output clearance. Then have some sort of cover to house a small board with five RGB LEDs.
- The temperature sensor - If you decide to use a temperature sensor, it has to be installed and protected from rain.
- The program - I chose to use a PhidgetSBC to handle the processing. This is what's handling the sensors and setting the colour of the lights. I ended up doing two versions of the program. One grabs the temperature from a temperature sensor while the other pulls the temperature from the web.
- Putting it all together! The exciting part
And here it is!