Lightbox Project Help

I am a newbie who has created one previous arduino project with a motion sensor, breadboard, and single led. I am now building four to six metal light boxes which I want to have a med/slow light fade up to full when motion is detected and fade down to off after two minutes or so with no motion. I want each box to react individually and plan to use one motion detector for each.

I plan to use an Arduino (Uno or Mega?) white led strip lights (not sure if they must be individually addressable pixel strips or?), pir (or other?) motion sensors, and AtTiny (85?) microprocessors to accomplish this effect. I would love any advice on this plan and ways to accomplish this effect. Ideally the motion sensors would not need to be connected to the lights and could be wireless perhaps using RF transmitters/receivers?

I have found several tutorials but am not sure how effective they are until testing. I can post these for inspection, and would greatly appreciate any advice. I have also found some arduino codes online which I have not tested yet, but can post. I am hoping to keep any wires very minimal/subtle because this will be displayed in a fine art museum. I hope to troubleshoot as much as possible before ordering to minimize cost and error.

Thanks in advance for any/all advice!!


To be clear, you want to make 6 individual boxes? So 6 boxes with light with each a PIR? So same project times 6?

You can use a ATtiny85 or a Arduino Pro Mini. For both, read into them. The Pro Mini is the most like the Uno. For the ATtiny there are some restrictions.

If you don't require to have individual colors, why use a individual addressable strip? A led strip with a power supply and a N-channel MOSFET to drive it is all you need.

If you want wireless you need some kind of wireless receiver. It depends on you requirements which is best (range, power consumption, prices etc).

And to start, chop up the project in easy steps. First try to control the LED strip with the MOSFET. Then combine it with the PIR (local) to get the desired effect (tip, don't use delay :wink: ). Next step would be to experiment with the wireless receiver. Get that working and understand it. Then mix it in.

And how do you want to power it all? Especially when you want wireless PIRs.

How are you powering this. Is it mains or battery powered?
Do you have an example of the light box your thinking of. Either a picture or some size dimensions.
Does the lightbox need to change colours or offer different colour options?
How wide and far must the motion sensor be able to detect movement in?

I have done a colour changing lamp using a single 10W LED using a tiny85 here.