Tron Lights

Tron Lights

I recently upgraded my room’s ambient lighting from basic blue to RGB and WiFi-controlled. The old setup was 12v rope lights taped along the baseboards. They looked cool and were easy to set up, but I always felt like I could do something more custom and dynamic.

With WLED and ESP32 controllers, I’ve added the ability to run RGB animations, set timers, program, access remotely, and adjust brightness over our home network. Now, they change to a random color every two hours, switch to dark blue and purple at night, and turn off at bedtime, replacing the old Kasa smart plugs and a 12v potentiometer for brightness control. Plus, I prefer using open-source software over Kasa’s closed, proprietary system.

Tron Lights

I chose BTF-Lighting LEDs with 720 LEDs per meter and a built-in diffuser. Pairing these with Muzata low-profile aluminum channels, which also have diffusers, makes the LEDs blend seamlessly.

Installation involved mounting the aluminum channels, inserting the LED strips, wiring to the ESP, and setting up WiFi. After some tweaking and a bit of ranting, it was all set. Here’s how I programmed the WLED API for random colors:

  • win: The command for instant light setting changes.
  • GP=0: Controls a group of LEDs, with 0 for all LEDs.
  • FX=0: Chooses the effect, with 0 for a solid color.
  • R=r, G=r, B=r: Sets LEDs to random colors, where r would usually be a number for specific colors.
  • A=128: Adjusts brightness to about 50%.
  • S=0: Sets the effect speed, with 0 as the slowest.

If using python and want to script it / add it to cron, try the following:

import requests

params = {
    'A': 128, # brightness
    'R': 60,  # red 
    'G': 150, # green
    'B': 15   # blue

response = requests.get('http://YOUR_WLED_IP/win', params=params)

This project required some soldering and planning to conceal wires, making it a bit of a challenge. But the result is a room bathed in light that adjusts its vibe (yes, I said vibe) with the color.

Tron Lights

Getting a good photo of this project proved more challenging than the actual installation. This, and the main pic, are the lighting underneath the kitchen cabinets.

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