Extreme Color Organ using arduino

Hi All! I have wanted to do something fun with my bedroom for a while now and the Make it  Glow challenge provided me with a reason to do so. A few months ago I acquired a strand of GE-35 Color Effects lights and owing to the inherent dangers of controlling wall voltages, the strand provided me with an alternate and safe way to light up my room and be able to control it with my arduino. As I researched the hacks for the RGB strand I was taken with the idea of having the lights move with my music. I ordered a MSGEQ7 from Sparkfun and started my room’s renovation when it arrived in the mail.

Extreme Color Organ

Step 1: Materials Needed

1x Arduino 328
1x GE- 35 Color Effects Light Strand- I used a 50 count strand
1x 10nf Cap
2x 100nf Cap
1x 200K resistor
1x Wire
1x Breadboard – I used a Proto Shield
1x LED – I used a red LED
1x PIR Sensor – Radio Shack
1x 3″ Servo Extender
1x Male to Male Audio Cable- Cut in half and each end terminated in a pin Header
1x Stereo Audio Splitter
1x Music Device
1x Pliers- For pesky staples
1x Mono Plug
Staple Gun
Hot Glue Gun
Soldering Iron
Optional- Knife
Optional- Drill
Optional- Hammer
Optional- Scroll Saw
Optional- Book-  One you don’t mind ruining forever

Step 2: Hacking the GE- 35 Lights

The first thing to do is to modify your lights so that they will work with the arduino. I chose to follow austinlightguy’s instructions on his website which worked well for me. You of course can do whatever you want, but make sure that the stock light controllers data line is not connected when your arduino is to the lights or you may end up frying something or getting interference between the two.

Step 3: Stapling Up the Strand

My bed overhangs the base all the way around and so I ended up just stapling the strand underneath my bed on that lip. I then took it and ran it up the side of my bed, along the top, down the other side, and along the headboard to completely encircle my bed frame. This will probably not apply to you so survey your room and try out different arrangements to find out what looks best for your layout. I ended up removing the diffuser bulb so that the strand had less of a profile above and below the bed. The bulb pops off with just a little force and twisting.

Step 4: Wiring Up the MSGEQ7 Chip

Pretty simple circuit, just follow these instructions to connect it up to the arduino. I used custom cut lengths of wire to  keep everything neat on the breadboard but whatever works for you. Pins used are the same as in the schematic below. I forgot to take a photo here so I am using one from later on so ignore everything else on the breadboard. Also I apologize for the 90° rotation, my computer is wigging out and won’t let me rotate it.

Extreme Color Organ

Step 5: Attach PIR Sensor

Again, very straight forward. Just 5v, ground and the data pin to pin 6 on the arduino. I also added the red LED on pin 13 and a button on pin 5 here. The LED is simply cut down so the leads are ~1/2″ and plugged in between pin 13 and the convenient ground right next to it. I am using the internal resistors in the Arduino so the button just needs to be connected to pin 5 and ground.



For more detail: Extreme Color Organ

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer with a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan University. I have written for various industries, mainly home automation, and engineering. I have a clear and simple writing style and am skilled in using infographics and diagrams. I am a great researcher and is able to present information in a well-organized and logical manner.

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