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Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distance s
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Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distance s

by Yaya4 on Sun Jun 12, 2022 8:39 pm

Hi there,
Total newcomer here. My background is art, not tech, and I have no electronics/programming experience. But I have some ideas I’d like to explore and I’ve heard these products are accessible for beginners.

But I’m unclear on exactly what I need to get started.

I bought a playground express, but exactly what else would I need to get started on these kinds of projects? What of these (if anything) would I be able to do with just the playground express itself?

The strands of LEDs look fun, as do the sequin LEDs, but so I need additional separate products as well?

Thank you.

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Re: Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distan

by adafruit_support_bill on Sun Jun 12, 2022 8:46 pm

If you can provide some details about the projects you have in mind we can offer some suggestions.

For examples of how to use specific products, scroll down to the "Learn" section of the product description. There will be links to basic tutorials on how to use the product. And for many products, there will be links to example projects with a complete list of required parts, step-by-step instructions and links to any required code libraries.

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Re: Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distan

by sonyahammons on Tue Jun 21, 2022 11:31 am

Thank you.

I would like to have a sculpture light up progressively brighter as someone walks closer to it. There are many distance detector products listed - I’m not sure how to choose. The simpler the better!

Thank you.

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Re: Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distan

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:15 pm

The simplest way would be with something like an ultrasonic distance sensor. These can detect a person out to about 15 feet away and report the distance. The Maxbotix ultrasonic sensors are some of the easiest ones to work with. : https://www.adafruit.com/product/172

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Re: Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distan

by sonyahammons on Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:35 pm

Thank you. Can that be used with a circuit playground (rather than arduino)? I’m still trying to figure out a full list of what I’d need to set that up.

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Re: Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distan

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:57 pm

Yes. It will work with a Circuit Playground. You connect the analog output of the Maxbotix sensor to one of the analog input pins on the Circuit Playground.

If you use the Neopixel LEDs on the Circuit Playground, you would just need the Circuit Playground, the Maxbotix sensor, some wire and solder to hook it up, and a battery or a USB charger to supply the power.

If your lighting needs are more extensive, Neopixels are flexible and easy to work with. Depending on how may you use, you may need a larger power supply to light them all up.

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Re: Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distan

by sonyahammons on Tue Jun 21, 2022 1:09 pm

Thank you.

What is the difference between the neopixel LED and DotStar Digital LED Strip?

Also It looks like neither of those products mention compatibility with the circuit playground so I wanted to double check.

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Re: Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distan

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:20 pm

Both Neopixels and Dotstars are compatible with the Circuit Playground. For the project you have described, I'd probably stick with Neopixels. Unless you are doing really fast animations, you don't need the higher operating speeds of the DotStars. And Neopixels come in many more shapes and sizes giving you a lot of flexibility to incorporate them into your sculpture.

For a detailed comparison, see this page: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-dot ... -2002908-3

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Re: Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distan

by sonyahammons on Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:48 pm

Thank so much.

How about for something that responds to touch instead of distance sensor? For example, something made of copper, that people can touch.

Can we make it so the firmer they touch, the more/brighter lights come on?

If so what parts are needed for that?

If not, how about just on/off triggered by touch?

Thank you!

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Re: Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distan

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:57 pm

Both the original Circuit Playground and the Circuit Playground Express support capacities touch.
https://learn.adafruit.com/circuit-play ... tive-touch
https://learn.adafruit.com/circuitpytho ... tive-touch

Detecting the firmness of the touch is a more complicated prospect. That is easier to do with something like a Force Sensitive Resistor:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1075

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Re: Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distan

by sonyahammons on Tue Jun 21, 2022 3:33 pm

It looks like the force sensitive resistor turns on LED lights based on someone pressing on the resistor itself, is that right?

What I’m hoping to do is have someone place their hand on something made of copper. The conductivity of the copper responding to the touch of the person…so they would be touching the copper art at any place, not the resistor. And depending on how hard they press, that would turn on the lights. Could that be possible ?

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Re: Shopping list for art projects - light sensitive, distan

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jun 21, 2022 3:45 pm

Capacitive sensing is very flexible in that you can use most any conductive material as a sensing electrode. But it is not a pressure sensor. You might be able to distinguish between a fingertip touch vs a whole hand touch by the change in capacitance. But you will need to do some experimentation and write some test programs to determine the response.

Another approach is to put one or more force sensitive resistors behind the copper touch surface so that pressure on the copper creates pressure on the force sensitive resistor.

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