$20 Automated Staircase RGB LED Lighting: DESIGN #part1

I say NO to broken TOES!

My staircase has claimed a broken toe some time ago. Fortunately, it wasn’t my toe, but I feel for the poor fella.  The toe is OK now, but it got me thinking, is there anything I could do to reduce the risk of dealing with another victim?  I write about home automation, it’s time to create an automated staircase RGB LED lighting. This going to be a 3 part build log.  This project has been also sponsored by banggood.com – big shout out to them for getting in touch!

Automated staircase RGB LED Lighting  – Design

I came up with a rough sketch of what I have in mind just by staring at the staircase. To create nice lighting effect and keep things tidy, I would run the lights on the right side of the stairs.  To trigger the lights automatically, I will need motion sensing.  With that in mind, it was time to finalise the design and go shopping.

Staircase RGB LED LightingThe best layout I could come up with would be enclosed in some sort of trunking, with two LED’s  per step. I have 13 steps which means I would need a total of 26 RGB LEDs to create the staircase RGB LED lighting.

As the total length of the stairs is 4m, each LED is spaced every 15cm  creating a light spot in the middle of the step and one pointing directly at the edge. This means I will use roughly a half of the 1m RGB LED strip. At each end of the strip, I would have a motion sensor module.

The staircase RGB LED Lighting will be driven by the Arduino Nano.

Shopping time – Staircase RGB LED Lighting

Obviously, the project is too big for any 3D printing to be reasonable, it was time to find some materials that will fit the bill and they won’t look out of place. I went to the local DIY store to find some ideas.  White cable trunking looked like a pretty and a viable solution to my problem. It comes in various sizes and lengths.

Staircase RGB LED Lighting
Plus some cables

Part List:

Part Price
White cable trunking (25mm x 16mm x 2m) x2 £1.75
Arduino Nano x1 £2.15
Individually Addressable LEDs WS2812 x26 (1m strip but using only 26/60 LEDs) £5.43
Motion Sensor  x2 £1.39
Power Supply 5V/2A x1 £2.85
TOTAL (just used components) £13.88/$18.50

 

It’s actually cheaper than I was expecting it to be. I know I will end up printing the enclosures for PIR sensors as they are slightly bigger than the trunking I have. I don’t want to buy a wider one, to keep the low profile. The 16mm trunking blends nicely with the skirting board.

I might consider later adding a WiFi connectivity to the setup but for now, I will focus on the automated lights via PIR sensors. It is time to take it to the Hackspace. My office is too small to deal with 2m long pieces anyway!

Conclusion

In the second post, I will share the hardware stage of the build. The last post will cover the software and a proper showcase. Follow me on social media if you are interested in this project.

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