Help us build "The Worlds Best Notice Board" !!

Hi Everyone.

I am project director for a community project that has commandeered a 130 year old building on an ancient street that has almost 2000 years of history.

We plan to make the building available for educational, artistic and charitable events for the community. The building is grade 2 star listed which is the second highest protection rating for historical buildings in the UK.

more project details here >

The issue is that we cannot make any changes to the exterior, put signs up and change the character of the street. They have just about given us permission to put up a "church style" notice board. We really need to catch peoples eye as they walk passed as this is the only way we can advertise. My first idea was to have LCD screen in the noticebaord that we could pump animations and a slideshow to, but that is not allowed either.

So... what i would really like to do is to illuminate the noticebaord in ratio to the proximity to a passer by. I really think this novelty will create a buzz as well as being very functional. This is proving much harder than i had assumed and countless people have told me to give up which just makes me more determined. A month of research (I am not a techie) has led me here. I am sure that an arduino board could control the effect we are trying to create.

Why would you help us? The entire project is becoming a community endeavour and we have a few people dotted around the world contributing to various aspects to the project. We would make you lifetime members of the club and certainly make you feel welcome if you ever managed to make it to this part of the world. The building has been saved from developers dying to carve it up into expensive flats when there is less and less space for the community to express itself. We think it is a bold statement and have linked up with other community projects to offer our support..

Well if your still reading then maybe your curious..

The led strip I bought is this one:

I had also sourced a PIR sensor:

I have no idea whether this sensor will be able to give a gradient fade or whether is is simply a binary switch.

I could imagine people walking past, noticing a glow, then realising that their proximity controls the brightness until full power when they are in front of the board. The street is only about 12/14 foot wide so i would want to catch them if they were walking on the other side of the street.

If you people tell me I am being ridiculous, i will give up, but I am sure it can be done. At the end, we would not only have the worlds greatest noticeboard but hopefully a viral video with your credits on it.. I movie maker friend of mine has already offered to shoot candid footage of the public discovering the interactive noticeboard and catching their reaction.

more details of the project together with lots of photos can be see at

Well? What do you think?

Happy New Year from the Team at The Hall Exeter


alexeijanssen: I had also sourced a PIR sensor:

I have no idea whether this sensor will be able to give a gradient fade or whether is is simply a binary switch.

PIR sensors sense motion so they are typically binary. You can use one or more ultrasonic sensors to detect distances in range of a few meters. They are very cheap when sourced from Hong Kong. Look at or eBay.

With the PIR sensor you could fade up the lights when motion is detected and fade them down when no motion has been sensed for a while. It won't be sensitive to distance but will give a similar effect.

Did you notice that the PIR that you linked to is designed for "Indoor use only" and must be kept away from "rain, moisture, splashing and dripping liquids" ?

With the correct sensor what you are trying to do should be quite easy.