Pick to Light system web control

Hi everyone,

in order to move my point across and avoid any XY problems i would like to spend some time and explain the basic problem i have with a project.

I own a company dealing in retail. Our business model mandates a good portion of the company resources to be directed to our warehouse and keeping it organized and easy to manage since we do operate with more then 20k SKUs situated on shelves in a large open area. We developed our own systems to operate the movement of stock but I always thought there is room for improvement - especially when it comes to the day to day operations. Our warehouse operators use a web-based platform (on tablets) to identify and register (with a bar-code scanner) the collection of a product for further processing (packing and shipping)

I always thought it's a great idea to have a Pick to Light system operational.

There are numerous examples of the technology in use - developed for different needs.


The idea is to try and develop a system similar to what is available but easy to scale.

We can "virtualize" our warehouse (meaning we can allocate a specific SKU to a specific "place" or shelf in our CRM)
When an operator uses our platform to call for the products he needs via his tablet it would be amazing if LEDs illuminated the shelves that store the exact products he needs.

We are talking about 100 shelves, so we need a way to control 100 LEDs for each shelf from a server.

What would be the most reasonable way to tackle the problem?

In a perfect world the whole thing should be scalable.
I don't want to deal with data over a wire if possible.
We can supply power via a rail and basically daisy chain all the shelves. So power shouldn't be a problem.

I'm not sure if i went down the rabbit hole and like I said, I really don't want to have an XY problem, but would it be possible to use ESP8266s (100 of them) to be controlled by an Arduino wirelessly on site by our server off-site.

Tablet makes request -> (SERVER) -> Server calls Arduino UNO on site -> Arduino calls specific clients (ESP8266) -> Clients light up their LEDs -> LEDs go off after the next request to the server is made.

I would be happy to answer any questions that might elaborate things further.

It's proof of concept stage, but i would like to actually realize the idea if feasible.


If one wants to control a hundred or two LEDs I would suggest the individually addressable LEDs like the WS2812. They come in different packages from single pixels to strips (that can be cut). One processor (and one wire from the processor) can control hundreds of pixels (LEDs). No need for a processor per bin. Each product (bin) can be associated with a LED address.