How to Build a Voice-Activated Lamp with an Arduino and Easy-to-Find Parts

I have a passion for building fun electronics projects using Arduinos. Recently, I decided to make a voice-activated lamp using easily obtainable components. This project was a great way for me to learn more about Arduino programming and integrating voice recognition.

Gathering the Required Components

The parts needed for this project are:

This set of components offers lots of possibilities while being easy to source and inexpensive.

Prototyping on a Breadboard

I first connected the components on a breadboard to test the circuit operation before soldering it together.

The Arduino, microphone, transistor, resistor and LEDs were wired based on the schematic for the Adafruit NeoPixel strand I used. Pay close attention to the pin connections when following schematics.

One handy technique I used was color coding the jumper wires - red for power, black for ground, and other colors for data connections. This made the circuit easier to follow.

** Double checking connections is important** before powering on new prototypes. I used a multimeter to verify there were no shorts or bad connections.

Installing Necessary Arduino Libraries

Two important Arduino libraries need to be installed to enable voice control and light animations. These libraries are available through the Arduino IDE's Library Manager.

The steps are:

  1. Open the Arduino IDE
  2. Go to Sketch > Include Library > Manage Libraries
  3. Search for and install the "Adafruit NeoPixel" library
  4. Search for and install the "EasyVR" library

After installing these two libraries you will be able to access their functions in your Arduino code.

Writing the Arduino Code

With the hardware and libraries set up, I could now program the lamp's behavior.

The code first initializes the LED strand and EasyVR voice recognition module.

In the main loop, it listens for commands and triggers lighting animations. Some highlights:

There are many possibilities for voice commands - setting timers, flash patterns, color changes, etc. The EasyVR library makes the voice recognition very simple.

Final Assembly and Enclosure

With the breadboard prototype working, I soldered the final connections onto a perfboard.

Hot glue helped secure the components in place before housing everything in a cardboard box.

Cutting holes in the enclosure allowed access to the microphone and USB cable.

While a bit rudimentary, this project box got the job done cheaply and quickly. For a more polished look, a custom 3D printed enclosure could be designed.


Creating my own voice-controlled lamp was tremendously satisfying. I gained valuable experience with Arduinos, voice recognition, and LED circuits while making something unique and practical.

This project can serve as a springboard for all sorts of voice-activated creations. A similar approach could be used to control motors, relays or practically any electronic device. With a bit of tweaking, you can create an Arduino-powered voice assistant tailored exactly to your needs.

I'm excited to refine this lamp more, add new voice commands and make the enclosure more elegant. I love how Arduino projects are never really finished and there's always room for incremental improvements. My mind is already buzzing with new things to try!