This ‘Make Every Week’ post by John Keefe is simple: add DIY accent lighting using LED strips, barrel jack, and a battery. Simple! When I moved into my new apartment ~2 years ago I thought about what lighting I wanted where. Then a year went by and I realized I was still thinking about it, so instead I started doing it. I could always undo whatever I didn’t like, or wanted to upgrade, or modify. Now I have accent lighting wrapping my bathroom vanity mirror, installed inside my ‘altar of awesome’ glass display case of trinkets, even around my door’s peephole, along with specialty cabinet & drawer lighting. Some installs are mains powered, others use batteries. But they’re a fun – and easy – way to add flare to any home environment, and they’re increasingly cheap and accessible to design and install. (Also that screw terminal barrel jack adapter from Sparkfun is pretty darn swanky!)
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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