Simple wifi touch lights that synchronize their colors across the globe letting loved ones know you are thinking of them
This fall a recent death in the family left a bit of a gap in our life. My wife started searching for a way for our family to better keep in contact with each other. After some searching, she came across these long distance touch lamps. Intrigued by the concept, I searched to see if I could build a similar product at a more appealing price point.
After some searching, I discovered the kickstarter project of the same lamps found on Uncommon Goods and the creator’s step-by-step how-to on Instructables explaining how he made the Filimin touch lamp. What follows is my own how-to on how I created wifi enabled touch lamps to connect my wife, her mom, grandma, and aunt.
The wifi lamps change color when touched and synchronize their colors to be the same no matter where in the world they are located. Each lamp gets assigned a default color so you know who has touched their lamp. This implementation is adapted and heavily borrowed from John Harrison’s original touch lights. For full instructions on how to build the wifi touch lights including pictures, see my blog.
Materials, Supplies, And Tools
Below are the materials, supplies, and tools I used to make my touch lamps.
- Unifun Touch Lamp ($15 on Amazon with code 6PZD8VVK)
- Particle Photon without headers ($19)
- NeoPixel Ring 24 ($17)
- 10M-Ohm Resistor ($1)
- 3/8” felt pads for covering screw holes on the bottom of the lamp
- A USB phone charger, should be name brand such as Apple, Samsung, Motorola, etc.
- A wooden dowel (1-1/2” inch) for bracing the Photon when plugging in the USB cable
- Wire (18 gauge)
- Hot Glue
- Goo Gone to remove sticky adhesive from the bottom of the lamp
- Soldering iron
- Hot glue gun
- Drill and 3/32” drill bit
- Wirecutter/wire stripper