I'm a general handyman, I can operate a crane, wire a house, replace a head gasket... Now I want to add lamp builder. 40 years ago I bought a Lamp that had a plant around the base.. When you touch the plant leaf, it turns on the light.. touch the leaf again it turns it off.
This is a live plant and it has been changed over the years. This year it stopped working and I took it apart. there is a wire that runs to a copper foil that is under the soil... I replaced the foil and re-soldered the wire and it's great again..
Now my granddaughter (19 months) loves to play with it so I wanted to build her one..
I tried using a replacement touch lamp switch but it would only work when touching the soil or the stems of the plant, close to the soil.. not sensitive enough.. So rethinking it I want to try using a 5V Capacitive Touch Sensor (Phidgets) to turn on and off a 12V LED Light bulb.
In my limited understanding, I start with a 12VDC power supply, run that to some type of controller that will send 5VDC to the sensor and send 12V to feed a relay. The 5V signal back to the relay switches the relay on and the 12V goes through to the light.
I fear I must be wrong because the relay needs to switch the light on... and have it stay on until it's touched again and then go off.. I think this would only work if you kept holding it..
Space is limited so, do I need a controller? With a controller do I need a relay? Should I use an Arduino? Do they have different sizes? How would you attack this?
Thank you for your kindness!