So, I pulled off my Piano Stairs hack this past weekend using parts from Adafruit! Specifically, a Raspberry Pi, an Arduino Uno, and a bunch of photoresistors. I used flashlights on each stair, across from the photoresistors, in order to up the contrast and make it way more robust. (Without flashlights, you get effects like people casting shadows on stairs they're not actually standing on, etc.)
Blog post + more videos:
Now, that was for a hackathon, but I think I have an opportunity to install this semi-permanently (well, maybe a few days or a few weeks) elsewhere on campus. However, the problem with flashlights is that the batteries only last a few hours, and I'd like to just be able to plug something in.
So, my question: does anyone have suggestions for a light-strip to put on the opposite stairs? Problem is, it's pretty wasteful (and less effective) to have lights that aren't directly across from the photoresistors. So I don't really want to go with the LED reels, even though they're very cool. I was thinking perhaps wiring up a bunch of super-bright bare LEDs, or even ordinary light bulbs, but I don't know how to wire up actual light bulbs.
I'm sure I'll try something regardless, but I wondered if anyone had any feedback.