Home Project v1 How it works Cheerlights Blog Links


Cheerlights is a global social media controlled light colour made by ioBridge Labs .

Cheerlights are controlled by twitter, tweeting @cheerlights and then a colour will turn everybody’s cheerlights in the world the same colour.

For example tweeting @cheerlights red will turn the lights red globally, the colours available are Red,Green,Blue,Cyan,White,WarmWhite,Purple,Magenta,yellow and Orange so lots to choose from.

The current cheerlight status can be seen here -:







The Project is being built around a Raspberry Pi, Arduino Uno, 3 HEXFET mosfets and 5 meters of RGB 5050 LED colour ribbon.

The Raspberry Pi looks at the Api  page at cheerlights HQ and gets the latest colour, the Arduino receives this information and sets the PWM output pins voltage 0 - 5v . This is then fed to the n mosfet . The mosfet’s I have use are logic level HEXFET’s from International Rectifier .

The IRL520n is a logic level mosfet capable of switching 100v at 10 amps much more than I need. Because it is a fet it draws no current at the gate and allows full control of the LED’s.

The code is available on github here. The code that runs on the raspberry pi is here

The Arduino part of the project is a DIY arduino cut right back to basics, basically just 5v , a 16mhz xtal, 2 capacitors and a cp2012 usb unit.

To see my project using a tlc5940 ic click here

The circuits I used to build the project are -:


Cheerlights

And here’s what It looks like on veroboard

Bought a ventilated box to house the board. As a last minute stroke of genius/madness I decided to add the old LED controller that came with the ribbon lights, so a nice addition to the project , being able to use cheerlights or manual control of the lights .


5 meters of Colour ribbon purchased from Ebay, as you can see it comes with it’s own LED controller and remote control , unfortunately very cheap and cheerful as inside the controller was 3 SMD fet’s that got very hot very quickly, but it did give me the insparation for the fet circuit and how to control the colour ribbon from cheerlights.

The code I used was from 2 projects which I hacked together, one project used the arduino and a arduino Ethernet shield, the fading of the led’s in the project was excellent but the Ethernet shield kept crashing, and looking at the code from the previous author, it looked like he had the same problems.

The other project used a raspberry pi to get the cheerlight command and transfer it via USB to the arduino, this project used a PWM ic to control the led’s, this was ok for single LED’s but useles for a colour ribbon that draw’s 2 amps on full load, so I hacked the two together and came up with this.

It was a blessing really using the raspberry pi to control things, this meant I could make a web interface to start/stop the cheerlights and do other tasks like manually set colours etc.

Heres the prototype of the curcuit.

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