Best guide for short led strip controller

Our current house has no outdoor light in the morning. I cant stand waking up to an alarm rather than a light. So I have been thinking about two 2m light strips hooked up to an Arduino hidden in a cupboard—programmed to turn on in the morning (i.e.. perhaps something like "low light at 5:30am, high light at 5:45am")

I'm comfortable with basic soldering and programming but not electrical circuit design. I see lots of guides on youtube but nothing as straightforward as "here is a simple circuit for dimmable led strips".

I get that this is probably a super basic question, but honestly its all new and foreign to me. If someone knows a good guide for connecting an Arduino up to "warm" led strips in a way they can be off/dimmed/on I would be very greatful. I just want to buy the bits and start having fun programming (which is my comfort zone :grinning: )

do you really need the 15 minute ramp up?

you could buy a simple LED strip of any length (non programmable) and a 24h Mechanical programmer and just select the time you want the strip on.

some are designed to be outdoor.

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Look at Adafruit's Neopixel strips. They publish an extensive tutorial showing their use in various projects.

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You sleep in a cupboard? :astonished:

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This is a great suggestion, but there are a few other things I want to achieve in the process that I didn't mention to make my post simpler. I would love to learn this technology a little better, and also I want to add a button that is "push this for 30 minutes of light before bed" which the mechanical timer cant do.

Eventually I'd love to learn to do much more complicated things.

Do you have any Arduino now? If so, which one?

That is the opposite of simplicity, because it forces people to guess.

If not, don't get a UNO. The Nano is far more practical. :sunglasses:

And - don't get one. Get at least two. :+1:

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Thanks, everyone for your advice, I don't have anything yet, it is much appreciated (My plan was to work out what I needed then order it all at once — I don't live in a country where you can just drive down to the store to buy these things). I didn't mention the additional functions as I really wanted to start simple and work up.

I've been reading about the Neopixel strips recommended. Although they are more expensive, it does appear that you can simply connect them to the arduino directly which is very appealing. So I am now torn between paying a bit more for simplicity or trying to use a mosfet of some sort. I think I'll start with the Arduino nano + Neopixel's as a first project, then move up to creating some circuits for cheaper longer light strips. (It looks like the nano has a lower memory version and a higher memory version, I think the Neopixel strips need a uno if you want up to 500 lights)

No, I would say it does not. The basic Nano is just a Nano. There is a later version called the "Nano Every" with a somewhat different processor which I gather does have more memory.

Oh, hang on now! Maybe you are referring to a downgraded version using the ATmega168 instead of the ATmega328. Yes, I think there are some vendors still selling that rubbish; you clearly would not want to buy those unless you had a very basic application for which that would be sufficient and the downgraded version was substantially cheaper but that is generally unlikely.

Most of us had just forgotten that version ever existed! :roll_eyes:

Well, you are thoroughly confused then. The UNO is nothing more than a Nano with two fewer analog inputs, a basically useless "Barrel jack" feeding "Vin" and a different USB interface, on a board which does not fit breadboards and has pin sockets instead of pins.

The processor on the UNO is the same as the Nano, you could fit it with an ATmega168 but that would be pretty pointless. Actually, I think you could even fit an ATmega88 or ATmega8! :grin:

To make things more confusing, there is a much newer range of Arduinos called (to serve you better!) Nano 33. For your first go, a plain old Nano is all you need.

NeoPixels have the advantage that you can control each led individually. If that is not a requirement (you only want to dim / on / off), you can opt for simple led strips (one colour or RGB) that you can drive using PWM. You will need some additional hardware (FETS) to drive them but you don't need massive memory.

No idea of the cost difference, you will have to do the research :wink:

Whatever you decide, you will need a solid power supply.

Thanks! Your right, its a little confusing at the start, I didnt quite get how it works, it looks like there are original Arduino devices and I think "clone" like devices made by different companies. (I didnt look too carefully at the descriptions the first time)