Light bulb (Red and Green colors) controlled by email

Dear all,

I am totally new to electronics world, but i need to build something and need your directions/suggestions.

My requirement:

  • A light bulb (fist sized), maybe a LED light, which could turn to red and green or two separate red and green bulbs.
  • A small computer like thing attached to the lights in the backend where an email client would be running
  • The computer needs to have wi-fi connectivity since it would be placed somewhere on the ceiling (power line would be arranged ofcoarse)
  • The computer to have a small logic to parse emails and switch on the light to red or green based on the events in the email.

Could you please let us know how economically i could set this up? What and all things i would need?

Thanks in advance!

I am totally new to electronics world

This is a "big" project... And, I assume you are also new to computer programming?

I'd recommend you look into existing [u]Home Automation[/u] products.

I'm not sure if you can find anything that "reads" email, but you should be able to find stuff that works over the Internet or the cell phone network.

So if you really need email, you might have to develop that program yourself but you should be able to get 80 or 90 percent of what you need off-the-shelf.

Two separate light bulbs will be easier... There are plenty of RGB (Red, Green, Blue) LEDs, but the larger/higher power ones either require a special driver circuit, or they are stage/dance lights that require a DMX controller.

Thanks for the comments DVDdoug..

I could write a small script to parse emails and decide on on/off events but what to do next is what i am totally blank.

And yes, I could use two separate LED lights. Instead of big bulb, i could use a row of LED lights. So that part is simplified.

When you say this is a "big" project, which part in the overall picture you were referring? Maybe I could re-look and simplify my requirement.


I think DVDdoug may be concerned about your coding more than anything as he's asked whether you are new to that.

An ESP8266 board could easily go and get your emails, and probably parse them too, but the coding required needs some knowledge of C++ so you don't get stuck too soon. It's a bit more than just a digitalWrite statement.

A large light could be made with some 1W LEDs for example. Or just several normal (but high brightness) LEDs.

I think you could easily do a proof-of-concept here, the first and main thing to tackle is the getting of your emails.

I would not put the actual Arduino on your ceiling either, just the lamp as otherwise amending the code might be a tad troublesome.