HackSpace magazine

ESP Nightlights

By Andy Warburton. Posted

I’m a keen maker and love to solve my daily problems with homemade solutions. If you have kids, you’ll know how frustrating it can be to be woken up at 5 am when you need to sleep. To combat this, I devised a simple colour system to let them know when they were allowed to get out of bed in the morning. When the lights are red, it’s time for bed! 
The colours are displayed on this pair of smart nightlights, made using cheap LED strips and ESP8266 WiFi-enabled microcontrollers (parts cost less than £5 per light!).

When the lights are red, it’s time for bed!
I then used a Python and Flask web server, hosted on a Pi 3B+, to build a quick and simple lightweight API, from which the lights could read the RGB colour values. This enables me to update their light routines without having to re-flash the ESP8266s. Now my kids stay in bed, and I get a couple of hours more precious sleep at the weekend!

This story is an excerpt from HackSpace magazine Issue #14. Interested in regular updates from the world of making? Become a subscriber.