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Getting leds to light up in sync with wind? Answered

Hi all,
I would need your help with a project I have in mind...  I've been at it in my mind for a while, but I'm getting nowhere fast, as I'm rather a newbie in electronics!!  I did enlist a friend to help with that, though! ;)

I would like to find a way to have the wind trigger the lighting/fading of a led, the same way one could do with a variable photo resistor (variable-resistor-wind-sensor-like, or could it be more slight-motion-based?). It needs to be compact and inexpensive, as I would need to make a whole lot of those. Ideally, it would be an analog sensor, but I am open to other ideas. No Arduino, though, please...  I'm not there yet. 

Either one sensor for each led,  or one sensor for a few leds at a time.

It could be powered by an external battery.

Any ideas?
Thanks!

7 Replies

user
steveastrouk (author)2013-11-25

Just use a little motor with a fan blade. wind blows, fan turns motor, motor generates electricity to drive LEDs.

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emikayee (author)2013-11-15

Hey, I have an idea.
Awhile back I bought one of those little radioshack "you build it" projects, just something to pass the time.
Anyway, it was a set of 3 LEDs, an IC (I forget what the number/name is, but I'll check if you'd like to know) and a microphone, any noise the mic picked up the LEDs lit, and they did fade when the noise got quieter and louder.
If you used the same idea, any wind hitting the mic would make your LEDs light up.
So there you have it, a micro controller free, wind triggered LED!

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lodoiska (author)emikayee2013-11-22

Hi,
Thanks for the suggestion. I had thought about it, but finally decided to go another way, since microphones picks up more than just the wind. But for another project, this might be fun! ;)
Thanks again!
Lodo

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mpilchfamily (author)2013-11-14

To clarify things you want the LEDs to get brighter as the wind blows harder correct?

If this is what your looking for then i recommend using a rotary encoder with a fan blade on it to detect the wind. An Arduino or other Micro Controller will bee needed to read the speed that the encoder is spinning at and output the PWM signal needed to light the LED and different brightnesses. But you will need something that outputs a PWM signal to control the brightness of the LEDs.

If you want to keep it simple and avoid having to do any programming or jumping into the world of micro controllers then go with caitlinsdad's suggestion.

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lodoiska (author)mpilchfamily2013-11-14

Hi,
it does seem like a good solution, but I never worked with any micro controller; right now I cannot afford the time to try and learn it. I will be keeping that process in mind, though, as I do intend to try my hand at those. Just not before the end of the semester! ;) Thanks for the idea, though!
Lodo

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caitlinsdad (author)2013-11-14

You've got two parts to work on...separate light units or a few LEDs controlled by a microprocessor like an arduino or tiny chip. I don't know if you have the fading part figured out yet, LEDs faded by the microcontroller, use fading LEDs, capacitors, 555 chips, etc. The trigger switch can be as simple as what they do for wind chimes, the center wire suspending one of the chimes hanging inside a metal washer completes the circuit as it moves around.But that is only a momentary contact so you need to do something to extend the fade or ramp up of the LED brightness. Gut out some of those flickering LED tea candles and attach your wind chime switch. That may get the effect you want. Good luck.

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lodoiska (author)caitlinsdad2013-11-14

Thanks!
Your suggestion did get me on what I hope to be the "right' track!
I will be testing something on the wind chime idea... I'll let you know!
Thanks!
Lodo

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