DIY Arduino Powered LED Under Bed Lights – Details

This post currently shows Version 1 of the build.  Since then, I have made numerous changes and improvements.  These will all be incorporated into a new post in the very near future.

DIY Under Bed LED Lighting with an Arduino

This post contains the details for the DIY Under Bed Lights for my kids loft bed, click here for the entire post on the LED Light Project.  Below I show you step by step how to make your connections and solder your Arduino Proto board.

I am connecting to four individually addressable LED strips that use the WS2812B LED chip.  I am making this board as my prototype board and each LED strip will only have 6 LED’s.  The final product will use 4 strips of 25 LED’s each. Continue reading DIY Arduino Powered LED Under Bed Lights – Details

WordPress Jetpack Photon – SEO Loss

Use WordPress Jetpack Photon with care!

I just wanted to write a quick warning based on an actual situation that arose on my Wife’s website (www.WholeMadeLiving.com…go ahead and check it out, I’ll wait…)

Her content ranks really well in a lot of Google searches.  Almost always the images of her mouthwatering food show up in the search results.  If I do a “Site Search” of the Google index for her website site:wholemadeliving.com it would return pages and pages of her indexed content along with the little images next to the results.

Her Website Images Disappeared From Search Results

One day, out of the blue I noticed this all changed.  Suddenly there were no more images at all for her search results in google.  I needed to quickly get to the bottom of this and figure out what happened.

Continue reading WordPress Jetpack Photon – SEO Loss

LEGO Robotics & Kids

As a parent of three young boys, I have learned the hard way that LEGO’s can be a parent’s worst nightmare.  I spend hours picking up LEGO’s and sound like the proverbial TV dad yelling at his kids to pick up their LEGO’s.  I have also seen the important lessons that LEGO’s can teach kids.

I have watched all of my boys build unique and imaginative creations for hours and then I watch them cry in horror as their poorly engineered structure comes tumbling down.  Then I watch them rebuild it again, maybe a little better next time and so on.  All three of them now build very creative LEGO structures and creatures.

Enter LEGO Robotics – LEGO Mindstorms EV3

We took my oldest son, who was in kindergarten to his school’s science fair, we walked around and looked at all of the cool things the kids had built.  On the way out, there was a table set up by the schools LEGO robotics club.  We stopped and he watched all of the robots absolutely mesmerized with what he saw.

Continue reading LEGO Robotics & Kids

Choose Your New Web-host

One of the more important decisions you will make when starting your own blog or website is deciding which web-host you will be using.  You have many choices but like anything else in this world, results may vary.

All I can do is give you my opinion on companies that I have used myself and you can follow your own gut on which web-host to pick.

One decision you need to make right now at the beginning is do you want to start out small and then expand in the future or do you just want to go for the gusto and go big from the start?

Continue reading Choose Your New Web-host

WordPress Child Themes – Simple

A WordPress child theme is something absolutely marvelous that you really might want to think about implementing!  Do you like to play around with the style of your WordPress site?  A WordPress child theme is just the thing for you.

What Is A WordPress Child Theme?

In simple terms, it’s basically a sandbox where you can make all the changes you want without changing the code of the original theme.  The original theme is the parent and the new theme is the child.

A child theme is super simple to make and I’ll show you how to get started.

What is required to create a child theme?  Not much at all, it’s pretty simple… Continue reading WordPress Child Themes – Simple

What is an Addressable LED?

There is a lot of commotion lately about LED’s, they seem to be appearing pretty much everywhere.  This is most likely due to the fact that they are very useful, cheap and most importantly to me, just plain fun to work with!  I thought I would take a few minutes to explain the difference between a couple different types of LED’s.

Non-Addressable(Cool) VS. Addressable(Very Cool)

There are a lot of options when it comes to buying LED’s and you want to make sure you have the right ones for your project to fulfill the grand vision you had in mind.  Let’s start out talking about the way you control the LED’s.

All of these LED’s can be in the form of flexible light strips or individual LED’s.  Let’s figure out the basics of each type of LED. Continue reading What is an Addressable LED?

Power Arduino UNO with 5VDC

On a recent project for DIY Under Bed LED Lighting I found myself in a bit of a power conundrum.  I had a strip of 5V LED lights that required around 7 amps to run at full brightness.  I didn’t want two separate power supplies powering the lights and the Arduino UNO and I didn’t want the Arduino powered by a battery and I didn’t want to add a DC to DC converter to boost the voltage.  I know, I seem pretty picky here!

Since the Arduino UNO’s absolute minimum input voltage (per the specs) is 6V, how will I get this thing powered off of one single 5V power supply in the simplest way possible?

Well, It’s much simpler than it sounds.  The Arduino UNO itself actually requires 5V to operate, so why does it ask for more? Continue reading Power Arduino UNO with 5VDC

DIY LED Lighting Projects

It seems everyone is jumping on the LED light bandwagon these days so I figured I might as well do it also.  I have a few projects that I want to accomplish with LED’s so I am going to document them here.  These projects are a work in progress varying from initial concept to in-work and I will update them as I make progress.

DIY Under Bed LED Lighting

My first project is an under-bed LED project for my kid’s loft beds.  Earlier this year, I made each of my three kids loft beds with stairs.  While these beds are pretty cool, I think they need a little extra zing to make them really really cool!  I plan on using an Arduino to control several strips of individually addressable RGB LED lights.  Is this overkill?  Definitely.  Is this more fun than flipping them on with a switch?  Definitely.

Project Status: Phase I Complete.  Prototype built and beginning to program

Click Here To Check Out The DIY Under Bed LED Lighting Page


DIY LED Photo Light Panels

My second project is for my wife.  She has a blog about food and life at www.WholeMadeLiving.com  (feel free to head on over and check it out…I’ll wait….).  This site requires lots of photo’s of yummy food which I happily get to eat after the photo sessions.  She always tries for natural lighting for the photographs but that doesn’t always work out.  She currently has some portable studio fluorescent lights that she uses that get the job done but just don’t do it as well as could be.  My goal with this project is to build her some insanely bright (but dimmable) DIY LED photo light panels.

Project Status: Material Procurement