One of my first projects with Adafruit was Adalight, an ambient lighting effect for media PCs, similar to the Ambilight feature of mid-2000s Philips TVs. Basically, matching what’s on the screen to a set of background lights to make the display pop!
All the pieces of the Adalight project — a microcontroller, addressable “smart” LEDs and a USB connection — are present today on the diminutive Circuit Playground board. Why not replicate this classic project on today’s affordable hardware?
This small remake is no substitute for the gargantuan Adalight builds that some users have created…but for laptops or small all-in-one PCs, it can be a fun project for a board you may already be learning with. There’s no soldering and no extra power supply this time around!
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.