Network Accessible Bookshelf Lighting

Confession, in moments of inspiration I tend to buy electronics kit and then end up leaving it unused for ages. I’ve had a Pimoroni Mote kit and a Raspberry Pi Zero W sitting around for some time now, and whilst I originally intended to mount the LEDs in my PC case, I eventually decided to add some much need lighting to my Ikea Kallax bookshelf. Rather than settle for a static display I decided to completely over-engineer this project and make them controllable over the LAN.

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LED Matrix

This post is a sort of eulogy. About 5 years ago I decided to teach myself a little more about electronics and thought building an LED matrix from scratch would be a good idea. Not just any old LED matrix, a 16×8 LED matrix. That’s 128 individual LEDs along with a whole bunch of resistors, transistors and a couple of shift registers for good measure.

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Unicorn HAT diffuser

I own a lot of HATs for my Raspberry Pi. Between the Unicorn HAT, Scroll pHAT and Blinkt! you might say I’m addicted to LEDs but I’ve recently managed to find a new addiction in 3D printing.

Whilst the Unicorn HAT is a lovely, colourful, 8×8 matrix, the individual NeoPixels are naturally round and quite bright. Needing to get to grips with our Maker Space’s 3D printer I decided a good first project would be a diffuser that would turn those circular LEDs into square ‘pixels’.

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