Everyone who knows me a little bit, knows how crazy I am about Xiaomi products. No other company I know offers such a wide spectrum of products, so good quality of components used to build theese products, and such great prices.
I recently bought a Yeelight LED strip to integrate in my Xiaomi Smart Home system. It is a high quality product, with many features. The only downside is the length of 2m. It is not bright enough for the whole living room. So I decided to do a little experiment: cut out the led strip and the power source, and solder a 5m strip and a more powerful power source.
Since I love theese products so much, this was very painful 🙂 but I did it anyway. The results were positive. I successfully replaced the LEDs with a 5m long 5050 RGB LED strip and a 5A power source. Everything still works with the app and the scenes. The only downside on this solution was that the colors were not exactly the same as I expected. Obviously the 5m strip was not the same quality as the ones from Yeelight. I will need to find some better ones.
Or just wait for the new Yeelight LED strip which will be 10m long I hear.
It always takes a little time until I finish my works, but I finally made it.
From my last post, the next step was painting the background, clouds, mountains, rock, etc.
Then I had to create back spikes from silicone, since the led strip from the back had still to be visible through the spikes. I added also the electronic parts: light resistor on the right wing, proximity sensor on the nose, side uv led strips and 2 blue leds in the mouth.
I guess there are not many kids theese days who don’t know him: Toothless from “How to train your dragon”. I thought I give it a try, since after the firefighter truck for my son, my daughter now also wants some “light effects” in her room.
So the original ideea was to create a Toothless model from the 2nd movie, which can also light up in blue. The final model will be a painting around a toothless model, with blue leds in the mouth to simulate the plasma, a short blue led strip on top of Toothless to light up the spines, 2 uv blacklight led strips on the side to simulate the light on the scales (which will be painted with blacklight paint) a photoresistor which detects day/night (at night it will turn on a night light by default) and an infrared distance measuring sensor on its nose, as a trigger for the “plasma” and to cycle through all programs.
So I started to model the dragon in Blender, and prepared it afterwards for printing in Pepakura. After some hours of work it was cut out and sticked together.
The next step was a layer of paper mache for it to get stronger, and some black spraypaint as the base color.
Then I used some almond seeds and again paper mache to make the teeth. And for the eyes I used a part from a plastic bottle and the printed eyes.
Now for the electronic part, I started to put everything together on a board. Mainly an Arduino Pro Mini will do all the tricks described at the beginning. It is easy to use and can be easily reprogrammed if changes are needed. I just really need to work on my electronics layout and soldering skills 😉
After putting it all together, it looks like this:
Like the title says, this is only the first stage I tried to finish before the vacation. It still needs a lot of work.
paint details on Toothles (nicer teeth, scales, uv paint, edges of eyes, edges of mouth, spines etc.)
paint the background (mountains, rocks, tree, sky) and the rock it stands on
put all lights on and wire all the electronics together
Having some leds lying around lazy, I had to put them to work 😉
This is just a quick side project. We have a lovely hibiscus home which has quite a high sentimental value to us. But sadly it hardly got any flowers. I thought it is time for a little help.
I read some articles which point out that wavelenghts of 630 nm (red) and 460 nm (blue), are very good for the growth of a plant. 70% red, 30% blue would be ideal for getting flowers and a strong plant. This matches almost to the point the wavelenghts of the led strip I got.
Next I wanted to preserve the day-night cycle which a plant needs, which schould remain the real day-night cycle. For that puprose I developed a little light sensing electronic part, which turns the leds on if it is day outside, and back off at night.
Since I was a child I was fascinated by fluorescence, phosphorescence and bioluminescence. Seing the movie Avatar was the cherry on top that motivated me to make some of my own decorations.
Some time ago I discovered what UV painting is and decided to try it out. A few Artists I found also tried to merge daylight painting with UV painting. Meaning that by day you see a normal painting, and if the room goes dark, and uv light is on, the painting looks just like a scene from Avatar by night, glowing, shining, … and suddenly I wanted to make this a hobby of my own.
It all started with me browsing through Instructables and finding a lot of great ideas. I came across the CapSense Arduino library and a great instructable, and just had to try it out. The idea behind is you create a proximity sensor using just aluminum foil, an Arduino and a 10 megaohms resistor. It is very easy to put the peices together even for an electronics beginner as myself. I got it started and a LED was blinking based on the proximity of my hand. As soon as my kids saw this, it was not my project any more, and I had to stand behing letting them play with it. I got them to back off only by promising them a magic orb based on this … 😉