Makerlog #3 - Build-a-Lamp


Week 3 of 2022, January is flying by fast. This week was not my most productive, I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather. This week I mainly focused on my 9-to-5 job and studying for my upcoming GCP Security Engineer exam next week.

However, in between those, I build a lamp! When I was making my inventory last week I also went through my hardware projects. Most of them are just disassembled electronics gathering dust. Last year I build a Game Boy with a Raspberry Pi, but a few years before that, in 2018, I build a bedside lamp that would nudge you into better sleeping habits, for example pulsing red when it’s time for you to go to sleep and not turning off unless your mobile phone is not detected in your bedroom.

I had most of the parts, so I put the lamp together and wrote some code to turn the light on and off. It’s using a RGBW neopixel ring so I had some colouring options. I added a fading mode as well that loops through all the different colours and a candle mode that simulates a flickering candle.

A few years back I started working on CATTS (Connect All The Things Securely), a DIY home automation system that would allow me to interact with all my devices from all my devices. It was time to set that one up again, so I could control this light. In its current form, CATTS is just an MQTT server with a front end website that sends messages to the MQTT server. The devices then listen to a specific topic, and change depending on the messages. Nothing to fancy as of now.

The main reason I wanted to dive into the hardware part again was mostly that I think it’s awesome to have digital code translated to the physical world, but also because I have finally found a Nintendo Power Glove that wasn’t too expensive for me to ship to Europe. This piece of 1989 retro technology would be an awesome platform to control my home automation and other things like PowerPoint presentations. So I’ll try to plan a hardware project with it for PiDay this year.

I’ll probably write a bigger blog post going into more detail on CATTS and the SleepyLight build but for now, I have to concentrate more on studying for the exam.