Adafruit Learning System Weekly Update: Hanukkah Edition

Since my last Adafruit Learning System update, we published a LOT of new guides. Create an rgb matrix dreidel game, make a fancy NeoPixel ring lamp, wirelessly code your bluetooth device with CircuitPython, make a no-code room occupancy sensor, and so so much more.

Favorite New Guide

This week my favorite new guide shows you how to use NeoPixel Rings to make a modern style looking lamp.

This project is an LED lamp with NeoPixels. It uses several NeoPixels rings to make a modern looking, functional lamp. The led rings are held in place with snap fit diffusers designed and 3D printed as a single piece.

The rings are grouped together and arranged to look like they’re gravity defying. To make the assembly modular, the project use PicoBlade molex cables so they can easily connect together. The 3d printed holder features slots on the back that allow the cables to pass through. In total, the lamp has 124 NeoPixel LEDs. It has one 60 NeoPixel ring, two 24s and a 16 NeoPixel ring.

Celebrating Hanukkah


This week we have two fun new Hanukkah related projects. This week you can learn to make a NeoPixel Menorah, and a RGB matrix dreidel game. Let’s dig through the Adafruit Learning System and take a look at some of the other fun Hanukkah projects you can make.

CPX Mystery Dreidel


Rolling for Hanukkah chocolate is even more fun with a programmable dreidel that flashes when it spins!

Dreidel is a traditional game played by families every year during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The dreidel itself is a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side. The game is similar to dice. You spin the dreidel, and the letter on the side facing up tells you whether you get to take game pieces out of the pot, or have to put pieces in. You can play for any kind of small tokens, but at my house we always use chocolate gelt, or foil-wrapped coins.

This Mystery Dreidel has a Circuit Playground Express (CPX) inside to add even more suspense! The sides are unmarked, so you won’t know what letters are spinning by until it stops. Then the accelerometer built into the CPX microcontroller board senses which way it’s pointing, plays appropriate music, and flashes lights through the cut-out letters on the sides to show which face is up. To make it extra festive, when you first turn it on, the CPX plays the chorus of the Dreidel Song. (You can make it play again by turning the dreidel upside down.)

The dreidel is easy to build from cereal box cardboard, and the programming is a snap using MakeCode. This guide includes a PDF template to help you cut out cardboard pieces and sample code so you can get up and running in no time.

Hanukkah MakeCode Menorah Sweater

Keep warm and keep those candles burning

Late December marks the holiday season for much of the world. Seasonal songs, tree decorating and gift-giving seem to dominate the landscape. Everyone at the company Holiday party is decked out in their favorite Ugly Christmas Sweater, laughing in their red and green as Santa’s booming Ho, Ho, Ho drowns out every other sound.

Here’s an opportunity for all the Jewish folks to light up the holidays in their own style. Add NeoPixels and a Gemma M0 to your handmade Menorah sweater, and be the life of the party. Touch the center shamash candle to light all eight Hanukkah candles, and celebrate each magical night with your family and friends.

This is an easy beginner project – just perfect for crafting together with your kids this Holiday season. There’s no soldering or sewing required. Use our drag-and-drop code, or dig in and learn to create your own colors and sequences. Make one for everyone in your family and pose for the perfect Hanukkah family photo.

Mazel Tov!

Circuit Playground TFT Gizmo Dreidel

Cyber dreidel dreidel dreidel, I made you out of CircuitPython.

Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made you out of…circuits and code? Well, in this guide we will. This guide will show you how to use a Circuit Playground Bluefruit along with a TFT Gizmo to create a digital cyber dreidel.

Instead of spinning, you’ll give your cyber dreidel a shake to set it into action. It will replicate the actual spinning top on the TFT Gizmo display. It even plays the catchy little Dreidel Song while the display is “spinning”. And then you get a random symbol to represent the dreidel landing on a side.

And…it’s all programmed in CircuitPython. Let’s get started.

ALS Deep Cut


With so many guides on the Adafruit Learning System, some amazing guides of years past get buried and lost. ALS Deep Cuts brings these guides back up to the surface. This week’s guide is from back in 2013.

A simple cyberpunk/Tronpunk fashion project!

The Larson scanner is named after Glen Larson, producer of Knight Rider and the original Battlestar Galactica television series, both of which prominently featured the effect as the “eyes” of KITT, his nemesis KARR, and the Cylon Centurions.

Larson scanners were traditionally red (or yellow in KARR’s case), but thanks to the magic of NeoPixels you can change the software to use any colors you like.

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

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, 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.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.