Building a PWM mood lamp

Hi arduino friends,

I have been exploring the arduino for about 6 to 8 months now and have really enjoyed every thing about it. Just recently, the time came for me to create my first project, and I made a mood lamp with two RGB LEDs that cycle through all of the millions of color combinations from behind of a frosted plastic enclosure. Now I would like to take it just a bit further. Here are the details of the mood lamp that I already created, followed by the details of the next project that I will be making to see if I can get help along the way. There are still a few concepts that are new to me and am trying to grasp, so any ideas and suggestions are welcome:

Mood Lamp (already created) -Uses an arduino duemilinovae -Has a pair of RGB LEDs connected in parallel to pins 9, 10, and 11 -Has another pair of RGB LEDs connected in parallel to pins 3, 5, and 6 -Total RGB LEDs = 4 -The LEDs and resistors are hand soldered onto small plain chipboards -Each LED anode has a 220ohm resistor -The entire contraption is housed in a hand-made wooden enclosure with a frosted polycarbonate window -There is a port in the side of the housing to connect the wall plug adaptor. -The lights cycle between all of the colors of the rainbow.

Example of each LED chipboard

Mood Lamp II (to be created) -Uses only a chip(without the arduino board) -6 PWM pins needed -The LEDs and resistors are soldered onto pre-printed circuit chipboards -Same LED count and Resitor count as the previous version -The lights flash and cycle in an array of different effects -The contraption will be housed in a hand-made wood enclosure with a frosted polycarbonate window -The wall wart will be moved insode the enclosure, and just the plug will go to the wall (possible??)

I am good with wood and have the tools and skills to make the enclosures. I really need help with getting the electronics to lower cost and with removing the arduino board from the circuit (just using the chip). I have never done that before.

I have seen the BlinkM, and my project requires a very similar functionality, but BlinkM is not what I am looking for.

Thaks for any help,

Daniel C.

-Uses only a chip(without the arduino board)

I wanted to get my costs down and made a standalone board using only the chip.

6 PWM pins needed


-The LEDs and resistors are soldered onto pre-printed circuit chipboards

If you mean a manufactured PCB, then yes this is possible, but you have to design it and they can be pricey. I like using Adafruit proto boards as they are nicer than regular perf boards.

Hey Pauly,

Thanks for the informative reply, It really is ixactly the type of info that I am looking for. I think I will start out with building the arduino on the breadboard but I may try to take it as far as burning the bootloaders onto the Atmega. I'm going to use your shopping list as a reference for the parts that I need to buy. The adafruit protoboards look good, but I think they went up in price as they are now $11.25 each after qty 10. Ouch! Otherwise, I may just stick with the regular old perfboard.


I’m in the process of building a similar mood lamp though I have gone for something a bit more powerful.

I bought a cheap table lamp and will put the finished LED thingy in place of the current bulb. I’m almost there now just need to build and program a standalone ATtiny85 and tidy the project up. Will look something like this when done.