What is it?
This project is a little bit different and is more art than a ‘home automation’ piece that I usually focus on. It’s a cloud that will light up with a thunderstorm flash. You can see a demo here:
It doesn’t necessarily serve a functional purpose, but I find rain/thunder relaxing. I’ve also been wanting to decorate my home office and make it feel a bit more cozy.
The build focuses on the WS2812B LED strips, I’ve covered these in a few projects, they’re cheap and addressable LEDs so you can generate all sorts of effects and patterns with them by controlling each LED’s color/brightness.
For the microcontroller I’m using the Wemos D1 Mini. It takes 3 pins to connect to the LED strip, +5V, Data, Gnd. Generally you would power the LEDs from their own supply and not from the micro. However for such a small amount of LEDs (<30) this is ok.
For controlling LED strips I generally use WLED. The project supports various micros, led strips and provides preset effects, web UI and more. For beginners it even lets you flash the micro from the website, so no need to even install any software!
The parts list of the build is as follows.