First project

Hi I'm starting my first project. Installing some footwell lights for my car using some rgb led strip and I'm after some advice.
What I'm trying to do is have an amber light at night to match the rest of the ambient lighting but go white when the dome light comes on.
I'm interested in what the arduino can do and thought that this might be a good starter project. Just not sure what kit would be best to use.
If anyone could help or point me in the direction of a similar project that would be great.



Any arduino could do this with it’s eyes closed. Design considerations you might consider

Power supply for the arduino.
incar usb charger?

Input signals for the arduino
At first I was thinking that we’d need to check the position of the ignition switch, But assuming that your power supply is going to only be powered when the ignition switch is on this would be pointless.

Are you wanting an input from your main light switch? If so, you’ll have to put that through a voltage divider (It’s just a pair of resisters) to bring it’s value down to something less than 5v

The dome light is probably switched on the -ve side might be worth you checking this with a meter fairly soon in case I’m wrong. If it is, a slightly more sophisticated arrangement will need to be employed here.

LED strips
The LED strips you need are probably the plain analog kind. These are handled just like a single LED, but they will need more power than your arduino can provide directly. So you’ll want a driver circuit to handle them.

Finally you’ll need some code to run on the arduino to handle the inputs and outputs. This one is childs play.

I don’t know if anyone has done a project that matches this one, but each of these issues is a simple job in itself.

Power supply for the arduino
Usb charger

Input signals for the arduinio
Will be running off a switched supply so don't need to worry about ignition.
Need to work out what pins to use for input signals.
Want to take switching signals by tapping into control unit signals used to control interior lights.

LED strips
Analogue strips. will be taking power from 12v splitter.

This is where i really fall down. No coding experience whatsoever. But got a few books and time to learn at the moment.

Would a arduino micro or nano be better for this project.

Sounds like you have it in hand.

Double check what is voltages are available to you for your inputs. I'm sure we can come up with a schematic to suit.

Also those led strips can doubtless be driven by 12v but you'll want to be able to control them through the arduino outputs.

Once you've collected your info and settled on the exact type of strips you want to use. I'm sure we can work out the rest.

In the meantime, I'd also suggest you get yourself a breadboard, some jumper wires, resistors, leds, and some basic push buttons. This whole lot would probably knock you back less than a tenner, and could be really useful for developing your programming and interfacing skills.