Mood Lamp is an interactive ambient lantern. By gathering data from its surroundings, the lantern adjusts its colours and brightness to fit the mood of the environment.
As a final project of an interaction design course I took at Simon Fraser University, we were required to use Arduino and Processing to create a smart device. In a team of four, we decided to create a device that could be used to improve the home experience.
Our project uses three main sensors to map out the colour changes. Sound and motion sensors provide automatic changes in the mood lighting depending on the volume and motion levels in the room. Finally, customizable personal preferences can also be set through an NFC sensor and the user’s phone.
The light is constructed within the metal frame of a Japanese pagoda. With translucent paper cladding that emulated a Shoji screen, light from LED matrix is dispersed. We felt the simplicity of Japanese design would work well within the context of this project while giving it a recognizable look.
The light is controlled by an Arduino attached to multiple sensors. Our Arduino code keeps track of a motion level, determined by how often the motion sensor is triggered and volume level, determined by the amplitude reading from the microphone. The amalgamation of these two values is what creates am atmosphere index, which results in the different colours, pulses, and brightness in the LED ring.
The biggest challenge was calibrating the values from the motion sensor and microphone to get useful data about the room. In future iterations, we would include a light sensor to make our light activate automatically as well as implement beat detection so then when music was played, the lamp would pulse on beat.