I found a lot of intersting ideas on the internet on how to make a fire simulation lamp using WS2812c programmable leds and Arduino. So I had to try this too. Spice up the romance that is ;-)
Everyone used a different combination of led types and microcontroller to control them.
All theese combinations had some limitations in terms of how big the lamp can be, what is the intended usage of it, and so on ...
My result you can see below. Like in every project, I don't like to call it finished, because looking at it more and more, I realise more stuff I can enhance it to do.
If you like it please vote for it in the LED Contest and in the Arduino Contest.
But let's take a closer look on how to build it.
Step 1: Electronics Creation
- WS2812b led strip with leds very close to eachother. You can use others as well, for example if you plan a much higher floor lamp instead of a table lamp.
- Arduino nano. For my use this was enough. If you plan more complex stuff, other boards might be more suited
- connector wires
Since the leds and the Arduino Nano use 5V, I sticked to this voltage. This means a power bank can be used to power it, so you can just take it with you wherever and whenever you want to set a romantic mood ;-)
So I had 140 leds on the strip. I alligned them in groups of 20 on a cylinder like in the picture attached. I also used for this plug male/femal connection wires, to be able to switch parts of it in the future.
I used the NeoPixel library to program the leds, also I used parts of code I found on the internet and adapted it a lot to give it a better more realistic feel.
The code you can find here: http://blog.familie-fratila.de/fire-lamp/
If you decide to enhance it, and make it free as well, I am also interested to see how far you get it :-)
Step 2: After Effects
OK, so having the electronics finished, it still doesn't look like fire, unless you diffuse the light from the leds, so that not every single led is visible.
I experimented a little with paper (much to diffused, doesn't look like fire, see video) and also with a plastic foil sprayed with white paint (also not nice).
The only solution is to use a thick material like difused glass or acryl.
Since I plan to use it often I decided to buy a normal lamp, just to take the “shell” of it.
I stripped the bought lamp of all inside electronics, and replaced it with my own. The glass of the lamp, gives it now pretty nice effect. Besides some tweaks and maybe more programs coded, I can say it is finished.
I also plan to make multiple modes of this lamp to be able to select by button fire, lava lamp, snow flakes, etc...