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First up, let’s wire up our contraption! Take your Raspberry Pi and connect up the keyboard and HDMI display.
Now we need to take the lantern apart to reveal its power wires. As you can see, after removing the 4 screws on the battery-holding base, we gain access to the RED (5v) and BLUE (GND) wires. To turn the lantern on or off, all we need to do is send 5v down these wires!
We will be using a transistor send this voltage and turn the lantern on and off. Why not just connect the input of the lamp straight to the RPi, you ask? Well, this is because the RPi’s control pins (also called “GPIOs”) are unable to output the power we will need to illuminate the lantern. The transistor works in a similar way to a relay, like an electronic switch which passes current through it when a voltage is applied.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
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.