Mood Light Project

Hi all, I’m new here, and new to electronics and Arduinos, but I DO have experience in programming.
I think it was Kipkay who took a Bawls bottle, put some LEDs inside, some crushed glass from a bottle, and made a mood light.
I want to take the same thing to the next level with an Absolut Vodka bottle with frosted glass.
I have a few cool ideas:

  1. Make it dance in time to any nearby music sources
  2. Multi-colored pulsing effect
  3. Random LED flashing effect
  4. The hardest, but possibly coolest effect: Using an accelerometer, make it so if you tilt the bottle, the LEDs slowly fade from one side (the side facing up) to the side facing down, thus looking like there is fluid that is moving. The bottle would be intact other than a hole cut in the bottom of it and it would rest on an attached coaster that contains the Arduino board/other electronics required to run the LEDs.

Anybody seen something like this or have any suggestions? I don’t have an Arduino yet, either. I think once I got it working on the Arduino board, I’d just program the Atmel IC and build a standalone board for it.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

If you haven’t worked with an arduino yet it may be worth it to buy a prebuilt one and muck with it for a bit.

Now back to your ideas:

  1. To make it dance with the music you may need to keep it hooked up to a computer to do your audio decoding. I do know that there is a way to do it with amplifier circuit. Check out “Physical Computing” by Tom Igoe i am pretty sure he has that circuit in there.

  2. Multi color pulsing: get some multicolor led and a little code and you are all set.

  3. same as 2 pretty mich

  4. Actually this is fairly straight forward you’ll just need to wire up the accelerometer and figure out your algorithm.

But I would definitely get an Arduino, an accelerometer, and some mulit-colored LED’s and mess around with them. It’s definitely easiest when you have your supplies and you can experiment.


could a fairly sensitive piezo element detect variations in beat/dB level and give out analog values? that way you could use teh analog values to vary waht colors light up or whatever…

I think you could boost the signal by using an op-amp chip of some kind if you used a piezo mic. The problem is that it would get distorted and probably wouldn’t work right.
I have a cold-cathode light that flashes in time to bass hits in music, but it never works very well if there are other noises around. I have second thoughts on the sound part. Perhaps just the mood light and the accelerometer controlled fluid flow in the bottle.

If I got an Arduino and used it to make this software, how difficult would it be to put the software on a standalone Atmel ATMega chip? I know you have to have a timer and something else on the board.
Depending on how this project turns out, I may consider making another one (or a few) and testing out the interest on eBay.

Not really Arduino related, but does anybody know a way to cut the bottom out of a glass bottle and not shatter/break the rest of it?
Obviously, I’d have to put a large number of LEDs inside the bottle and they’d have to maintain some kind of structure to look good.
How hard is it to interface with that many LEDs?

could a fairly sensitive piezo element detect variations in beat/dB level and give out analog values?

A couple of guys at MIT did exactly that. They used a piezoelectric buzzer as a microphone, and used it with a single-transistor amplifier to send a signal into an ATmega168, to control a sound meter. They have a video of the project, and the amplifier circuit and theory at NerdKits - Piezoelectric Sound Meter. There is also code for the ATmega168, but it would need to be adapted to the Arduino style (output pin numbering scheme, etc.). Or you could buy one of their kits and have it working directly. :wink:

You can use the circuit and the code without fully understanding the theory, so don’t get bogged down in the video explanation.

Full disclosure: I am not one of those guys. But I have one of their NerdKits and I have an Arduino Duemilanove. The Arduino is much easier to program because of what is supported behind-the-scenes language-wise, while the NerdKit takes you much closer to the hardware. But those guys are doing some truly amazing things with the ATmega168, and they give you the source code and provide excellent support for their projects.