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MakerProjects

§Kallax Mood Lighting (Ikea style box shelving)

We have a Kallax unit at home that was looking a bit dull. Mood lighting seemed to be a neat way to spice it up a little. The plan was three fold,

  1. Add some nice mood lighting to the unit
  2. Use up the Analogue LED strip I have laying around
  3. Make it usable via a mobile interface to keep it realistically usable

It turns out point number two would make this project a whole lot harder than it needed to be in terms of part list and software requirements. But more on that later.

§Hardware

Hardware selection on this project focused on what I could use from of my existing kit. If you are looking to attempt a similar project take look at my Party Box project, which uses digital strips for more functionality and less parts.

§12v RGB LED Analogue strip (300m)

It would have been easier to go with a bunch a digital strip which have chips like the WS21xx built in but I had a full strip of Analogue lights lying around. These sort of strips usually come in .5, 1, and 5 meter reels.

§Mini D1 or similar ESP8266 style board

The interface for this project uses Blynk which dicates some form of connection to the internet. Mini D1’s are fabulous ESP8266 based boards with WiFi built in. They have an odd pin out format and take a bit of fettling to get working as an arduino alike but other than that they are pretty reliable.

§12v~1A DC wall wart

The max current draw for this project is about 800~1000mA give or take a couple of milliamps. With that in mind the project is not battery friendly; power must be sourced from a socket. This is partly to do with the physical nature of the led strips and also because full bright white is a valid use case. In the power requirements section I talk more about how you could shave off enough draw to go mobile.

§Software

§Build

§Power requirements

First up the LEDS, we are using two strips. Each strip is 140cm / 1.4 meters long. In this strip there are 14 sections of LEDS. Each section consists of 9 LEDS with a max draw of 20mA each. The leds are packaged into RGB meaning each section has 3 12v~60mA 5050 style RGB led per section.

  • 14 sections x 60mA each = 840mA
  • 2 strips x 840mA = 1.68A
  • 1.7A Maximum draw

Next up is the Mini D1. When working with such a small board it can be easy to figure in about 200mA as a solid guideline. However the D1 has WiFi on board which can be a large current sucker. With that in mind we should allow a total of 500mA for the board.

  • 1.7A LED strips
  • 0.5A D1 mini
  • 2.2A Max draw

That’s a lot of current right! Thankfully it was possible trim off some of the draw with various changes, restrictions and optimisations later. The final max draw figures where

  • Voltage Range: 9V ~ 12V
  • Current Draw: 400mA ~ 800mA

§Power saving actions

I’ve put these hear for easier comprehension

Reducing max brightness

First up, reducing max brightness reduced by 50% using the following calculation,

(COLOR x DESIRDED BRIGHTNESS) / MAX BRIGHTNESS

This will bring our max draw for LEDs to 840mA total or a neath 1A for the whole circut with plenty of headroom.

Reducing the available color selection

Before I talk about this I want to state that I didn’t add this restriction to this project because it’s primary purpose was to be a full spectrum mood strip. With that out of the way, restricting colors can vastly improve power. Lets see how.

§Power supply

Our final draw is close enough to 1A that po

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