Originally published by Mar 2, 2020
Connecting sensors and Internet connectivity to non-traditional devices and contexts is the fundamental idea behind the Internet of Things. You can explore this exciting new tech trend with your do-it-yourself skills. All you need are the right parts, Raspberry Pi, sensors and instructions. We’ve got you covered!
Wireless networks, one of the most popular ways of using radio, is a great way to extend the capability of your IoT device. If you’ve ever wanted to explore the power of radio and networking, this project is for you. A Wi-Fi switch is a simple device that lets you turn the power on or off to any device. You can use a WiFi switch to control an electric machine. For example, you can use it to turn on electric heaters in your living room in winter before you get home from work so you’re comfortable when you get back.
Hardware Components needed for this project:
This is a partial list of the required components – get the full list here.
Note that this project also requires that you have some skill with a soldering iron and resin. If you are uncomfortable with those areas, you might want to choose a different project for now.
Looking for a way to impress your friends and family at Christmas? Build this project, and you will be the talk of the family. Rather than buying Christmas lights from the store like everybody else, you will use your tech skills to build something new.
Critical Hardware Components For The Project:
Once you have this project built, you can control the lights wirelessly. For example, you can set a light order (e.g. red, blue, green) and choose how long the lights stay. If you are looking for a more advanced version of this project, combined it with the Wi-Fi switch project outlined above.
Getting started with the Internet of Things (IoT) technology doesn’t have to be daunting. Sure, you can build complex projects like locks, security devices and more. When you’re getting started, it is best to use a project involving lights. Unlike other hardware, it is easy to tell if a light is working. That makes this kind of DIY project a great place to learn.
In this project, you will be using Raspberry PI, Python and WebIOPi software. Most of the programming work is done through a browser. Compared to other DIY projects, this project emphasizes software work more than hardware.
To build this project, start by finding the following hardware components.
For step-by-step directions and code samples to build this project, read our full technical tutorial: Internet of Things Fun with LED Lights.
As you develop skill in your IoT projects, you can add more features and challenges. Let’s say you are comfortable with the LED project. Rather than try something completely different, add a twist like a blinking LED light.
To build this project, you will need to obtain the hardware components described in the previous project. Creating the blinking LED effect does not require additional hardware. Instead, you will create that effect through software – specifically, programming through Python.
Advanced Tip: What if you wanted to use lights in other ways? For example, you might have a pet lizard that requires a certain heat level to stay comfortable. In that case, you could use a temperature sensor to gather information and connect it to a multi-color LED.
Controlling your lights and appliances through Wi-Fi is fun. However, it is not always convenient. What if you forget to turn off everything when you leave home for a trip? You will end up wasting electricity. Instead, use this DIY project to control your LED light project with a schedule. From a skill perspective, this project is a good beginner level way to develop your skill with input and output capabilities.
If you have already built the above two projects, there is no need to purchase additional hardware. You will create the schedule and controls through programming instead. In our tutorial, you will learn how to set your LED to turn off after a certain number of hours or minutes with Python.
Analog technology is back! You can add these capabilities to your DIY IoT project. Get started by adding analog input, namely an analog light sensor. However, there’s a challenge. So far, we have focused exclusively on digital hardware. To make this project work, we are going to need something else.
Required Hardware Components For The Project:
Once you finish building the project, you can play sounds – including Internet radio – based on light levels. That means you can use this project as a light-sensitive alarm clock.
Through these projects, you’ve learned a few ways to use LEDs, light sensors and software to create Internet of Things devices. Add more sensors to extend the capabilities and see what you can achieve!
Learn more about the Internet of Things with our comprehensive guides: