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Topic: How Might I Go About Doing This? (Read 3177 times) previous topic - next topic


I am thinking of doing a little something for mommy. She always gets home late, and she always has to stumble around in the dark to find the light... I want to use an arduino to turn the lights on and off based on her schedule...

I know the hardware; arduino, relays, ds1307, misc hardware...

My issue is I would like to format it like a calendar... She can enter her schedule on the calender... Click on a day and a window drops down... Type in the hours and close it...

My issue there is how... How would I interface the calendar with arduino? How would I make the calendar itself? How would I make the dropdowns?  


I think i would use a web server. Give the arduino the seconds until next event, and calculate that into milliseconds so it will turn on at the right time. And Maybe make the arduino check every 5 minutes and re-calculate the milliseconds.
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I'm with bld on this. Some application on the PC for collecting the event data is going to be easier to develop than any kind of calendaring application on the Arduino.

Simpler though, would be to use a motion sensor and sense when she, or any one else, get near it. Turn the lights on then.

Check the playground for event handling libraries. That would be easy to start with.
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Might not be what Jeremy originally had in mind... but wouldn't it be more sensible to make a small remote controlled light switch that she could carry around? Just a thought...


Or you could install a motion-controlled switch at the light switch.  Not sure how expensive they are, I'm guessing only $20-30.


She always gets home late, and she always has to stumble around in the dark to find the light...

There's a simple solution here, and likely will cost $0.00 (sans cost for power): Leave the front porch light on (I hate the fact that many of my neighbors on the street don't do this) and leave a small lamp on near the front door.


If you want to save some money, install a cheap $5.00 mechanical timer or two and set it for around the time she gets home.

Not everything has to be "Arduino-ized", not everything has to be automated. Indeed, our lives would probably be a lot simpler and easier if we would first think about our problems and how to appropriately solve them with the right technology, rather than rushing in to apply the "latest" gadget to solve a problem that has already been solved a hundred times before.
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Not everything has to be "Arduino-ized", not everything has to be automated.

Maybe not. But, it's great that OP's thinking about his Mom and that he is looking for a good use for an Arduino. I think he should be encouraged.

Keeping the solution simple though should come first. Motion sensors, lights on timers, etc. might be a more reliable solution. and easier to implement.

However, web-based applications will be around for a while. Learning how to create a web-based, or PC based application that can talk to the Arduino is a great exercise and a great way to expand your skillset and see where your interests in computer related fields lies.
The art of getting good answers lies in asking good questions.

Coding Badly

Were I doing something like this, I would try to use an existing calendar application (like Google Calendar) for maintaining the schedule.  Use a PC (or possibly an Ethernet Shield) to fetch the schedule (once a day; once a week; whatever works best).  Convert the data to something easily useful in an Arduino (e.g. light on X seconds from now; light off Y seconds from now).  VoilĂ , a scheduled light that Mom can control from anywhere in the world.

Big Oil

You could use a light sensor and a motion PIR sensor.  If it's dark and it senses motion, then turn on a lamp using a relay, or a powerswitchtail.  


Well, so far I dont have a clue, and this (no offense) doesn't help a bit...

I want to do do the calendar because it's uniquie and simple for her to use...

I don't think that existing programs would wors for this... I would like to do a 2 - stage thing...

First would be the computer... The schedule automatically turns the lights on and off...

The second stage would be a little remote that she could keep in her purse... For if she calls in sick or goes in early or comes home early, she can push the button and turn the lights on. My best bet for makign this part would most likely be a pre-made control of some sort, hacked for arduino.  


Sep 14, 2010, 05:52 am Last Edit: Sep 14, 2010, 05:54 am by zoomkat Reason: 1
If youhave a web enabled iphone and a home internet connection, you could conrol things at home via the iphone and an arduino/ethernet shield.
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I do... She doesn't...

And an ethernet shield is a lot of money to leave behind in a project...

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