When I first started thinking about building a device for my bedroom, my main goal was to create something that would fit in with the overall aesthetic of the room. After some brainstorming, I decided to build a night light that would complement the marine animal theme I had going on fit the design of a one-meter-long toy whale on my bed. I also had an empty desk beside my bed that was just waiting for the perfect decoration.
To get started, I looked for similar products on Amazon and found the Kawaii aesthetic to be particularly appealing. I began sketching out my ideas while also working on the inner hardware settings. I had a Sparkfun Redboard and RGB LEDs from the BTU Lab, and importing the Arduino code for controlling the lights was a breeze. Soldering everything together took about an hour, and I had a lot of fun doing it.
Next, I turned my attention to the enclosure. My original plan was to create a cube-shaped light with a regular appearance. I first tried testing out different materials using a 3D printer, but unfortunately, the light didn’t pass through the material. I then switched to cardboard, which wasn’t visually appealing, but the light created a nice blurring effect. Finally, I settled on plywood and laser cut a hexagonal prism for the enclosure. The spaces left after laser cutting around the burn marks allowed just the right amount of light to pass through.
My goal was to create a dynamic light that would change colors, so I programmed the RGB LEDs accordingly. However, after laser cutting the pieces and putting them together, I had a new idea. Since all of the surfaces of the hexagonal prism were the same size, I could swap out the pieces for a second interpretation of the theme. Instead of gluing all the parts together, I created more than eight pieces with different hatch patterns, which I plan to expand upon in the future. I also attempted to hatch a QR code linking to a marine animal protection website, but it didn’t work out due to a ratio issue.
In the end, I’m very happy with how my night light turned out. The light passing through the wood creates a wonderful aquarium vibe, and the hatching on the plywood adds an extra layer of interest. This project gave me a chance to explore different aesthetics and gain valuable experience in creating something from scratch.