Build your own 3D-printed ring light for your remote meetings #CircuitPython #CircuitPlayground
Want a little something that dramatically improves how you look in the video conference camera while teaching your class, giving a talk, or holding a meeting, and not just because of vanity. The better and clearer your camera image, the easier it is for your audience to see and understand you (though vanity is a perfectly fine reason too, we have all spent far too much time this year staring at ourselves in the little Zoom box).
You could buy a ring light to provide the best possible light source for looking good on a webcam, but why buy something when you can spend several hours soldering and coding your own custom, addressable, RGBW ring light.
The good nerds at Southern Fried Science are here for you. I spent the last month polishing up my coding, soldering, design, and 3D-printing skills to bring you a 3D-printed, DIY ring light that you can build and code yourself.
Is it cheaper than a commercial ring light? No.
Does it work better than a ring light designed and manufactured by a professional team of engineers? Also no.
Can you independently control each color channel so it looks like you’re in the Matrix, under water, of cosplaying the This Is Fine dog via a large, bulky box that sits on you desk? Yes.
Does it come with a panic button that lets you bail out of Zoom calls by pretending that you’re being pulled over by the police? You better believe it does.
The system is built around the Adafruit Circuit Playground Bluefruit, a nice little microcontroller that uses python to control a wide range of functions and is very easy to update. The Bluefruit is overpowered for this application but it costs the same as the base Playground Express and has Bluetooth capabilities in case you want to go wild and make an app-controlled ring light.
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, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, 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.