How to Build a DIY Smart LED Light System With Arduino For Under $20

Building your own smart LED light system with Arduino is an easy and affordable DIY electronics project. With just a few common components, I was able to create a customizable lighting setup with color changing LEDs that can be controlled wirelessly from my smartphone. Here's a step-by-step guide on how I built my own smart LED system for under $20.

Shopping List

Here are the components I used for this project:

So for well under $20, I was able to get all the essential hardware needed. You may also need a soldering iron, wire strippers, and wire cutters depending on how you connect the LED strip.

Assembling the Circuit

Here are the steps I followed to assemble the circuit on the breadboard:

  1. Connect the 5V and GND pins on the Arduino to power rails on the breadboard.
  2. Connect the data pin on the LED strip to Arduino pin 6.
  3. Connect the 5V wire from the LED strip to the 5V rail.
  4. Connect the GND wire from the LED strip to the GND rail.

That completes the basic circuit! The LED strip gets power from the 5V supply and is controlled by the Arduino via the data pin.

Uploading Code to the Arduino

Now I needed to upload code to the Arduino to control the LED colors and patterns. I installed the FastLED library which has built-in functions to easily control WS2812B strips.

Here are some of the effects I programmed:

I created a sketch with a loop that continuously runs through various patterns and effects. The FastLED library made the coding very simple.

Adding Wireless Control

To make the LED system wireless controllable, I connected the Arduino to a NodeMCU ESP8266 WiFi module. This allowed me to send commands to the Arduino over WiFi from my smartphone.

I programmed the NodeMCU using the Arduino IDE. Now I can change the LED colors and effects by simply sending HTTP requests from my phone!

Putting it All Together

For the final build, I mounted the LED strip, Arduino, and wiring inside an enclosure to create a nice self-contained unit. I used a plastic food container, but you can be creative with the housing.

With everything assembled together, I now have an awesome DIY WiFi-controlled smart LED system that only cost around $20! The LED colors and patterns can be customized by editing the Arduino sketch code.

Let me know if you have any other questions about this project. I'm happy to help explain any of the steps in more detail. Building your own IoT gadgets with Arduino and LEDs is really fun and rewarding.