Maker Faire

Multi-colored Touchpad and Network-Controlled LED Lamp

Type: Maker Table/Exhibit
Program Area: Arts


Location: Cypress Fun House

Welcome to a new style of lighting presented in a unique industrial design, applying new lighting and lighting control techniques, including a universal computer interface. The LED Lamp features two lamp shades, each with 252 bright LEDs of five colors: Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, and White, representing the Hering theory of three opponent color pairs (Red-Green, Blue-Yellow, and White-Black).

Color and brightness is adjusted using one of two interfaces to create individual lighting environments. The first, a generic touchpad, allows for controlling color and brightness in one or both shades. The touchpad is divided into five virtual sliders, each representing one color. Effortless movement of the finger over the touchpad speedily changes the lighting environment. The second interface, a network module, allows software to programmatically change color and brightness of 96 LED clusters. A program on a networked computer controls the lighting environment over a standard IP-based network.

The LED Lamp addresses the desire to easily create different lighting scenarios depending on the mood of its user or functional requirement of a task. Implementations of lighting scenarios are open to imagination, but may include sound and music response and environmental ambience. By its design, the LED Lamp is suited for a large desk as a desk lamp, but also fits into any other environment with some elevation from the ground.

Moreover, its multifaceted design allows for the LED Lamp to be used as a potential tool for teaching students with cognitive disabilities. The tactile sensation of using the touchpad linked with immediate feedback from the multi-colored light clusters provides an entertaining and educational exploration of light. The Hering theory of color pairs suggests that it may be possible to condition brain response and stimuli to certain color patterns. Further experiments will be conducted to ascertain more effective analysis for this theory.

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Presented by

Alexander Haubold
Columbia University

I like to think of myself as a hardworking Computer Science PhD student at Columbia University by day and an enthusiastic creative inventor by night. In my academic tenure, I work on multimedia video understanding and indexing, a field in Computer Vision. It is my goal to combine analysis of different modalities in an intelligent multimedia video library browser. This work on human computer interaction has rubbed off on my freetime pursuits, in which I passionately develop potential creative solutions to design problems. My personal website is which serves as an archive of my work.