Introduction: EEAwesome Light Show

This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse-Art at the University of South Florida (

Everybody should have something cool to show off around the house. This a great starter project that will not be too challenging and you will learn a lot of cool things through the process. The light show uses a proximity sensor to turn a stepper motor and shine light through a refracting element.

Follow this intructable to build your own light show. Make some changes and make it your own design!

Designed and Created by Ryan Nicol and Logan Holeve.

Step 1: Step 1: Put the Circuit Together

Our whole project was created using just parts from the IEEE-USF electronics kit. There are only 10 different parts that are needed to create your light show:

  1. Arduino Uno Microcontroller Board
  2. Steppor MotorStepper Motor
  3. Arduino Board
  4. 7 - LED's
  5. Plenty of Wires
  6. 7 - 220 Ohm Resistors
  7. HC-SR04 Proximity Sensor
  8. Breadboard
  9. Dreamsphere (May use any kind of lens that refracts light)
  10. 9V Battery

Use the circuit diagram as a reference for wiring your light show.

Step 2: Step 2: Designing the Model

How do you picture your light show to look? This is how we envisioned ours at first. The design typically stayed the same, but some extra parts were needed. We had to make a platform for the ball to balance on and not roll off. We also designed a beam in the middle that holds a 9V battery and the LED's. The battery compartment was made with AUTOdesk MAYA. The LED's are glued into the platform and the circuit is soldered. You must solder your circuit or your light show will be very fragile and most likely will not work. Head my warning.

I encourage you to create a brand new design and to be creative. You are making a light show because you want to impress people and you want them to like it. If you do not like your own light show then how do you expect other people to like it or be impressed by it. Design your light show to your style and have some fun with it.

Step 3: Step 3: the Arduino Sketch

This is the Arduino sketch that I wrote to run the motor and the lights from the proximity sensor. You can get creative in the "if" and "else if" statements. Adjust the distances and the HIGH/LOW outputs to create your own light show! I will leave a copy of the program file for you to download as a template so you may get started.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you download the functions for the motor and the proximity sensor and save them in the same file as your project. These functions that I included are necessary for your light show to work.

Step 4: Control System: How It Works

Here is a block diagram of the control system. We utilized a proximity sensor to trigger when the system is running or when the system is off. The loops of the program keep repeating and detecting distances as long as the light show has power. As long as there is an object within the threshold range, then the light show will begin. If there is nothing for the sensor to pick up, or if the distance of an object is 250 cm, then the light show remains off.