Everyone needs a blue canary in the outlet by the light switch, ready to watch over them. How can you find a little glowing friend for yourself? Well, get the birdhouse in your soul ready! This canary night light is ready to move in and light it up.

This guide shows you how to build your own canary nightlight. The build involves a QT Py ESP32-S3, paired with a 5x5 NeoPixel Grid BFF, fitted into a beautiful 3D printed bird. The circuit diagram helps ensure that you're pairing the two boards properly. The CAD files are provided, along with info about what filaments work best for this print. After installing CircuitPython on your QT Py, you'll load the code, and learn how it works. Finally, you'll assemble the canary nightlight.

Blue light promotes wakefulness, and can be super helpful when it's time for you to be awake or you're trying to concentrate. The nightlight lights up blue during the day by default to help you with both.

On the other hand, bright blue light can often hinder you when you're trying to wind down or sleep. To avoid that, this canary is designed to turn red and dim during the evening and night to help you slumber.

What would a canary nightlight be if it wasn't watching over you? Well, this light also includes a feature that let's you know if your internet connection goes down. When the connection is down for a period of time, the canary will begin blinking red to notify you. It keeps blinking until the internet is back up. Wonder no more if it's you or the internet! This canary has your back.

The code for this project is super customisable so you can tweak it to your exact wants and needs. You can update the colors, brightness, timing, and more. The guide goes through everything you can change so you know your options.

Parts

This is a relatively simple build. To follow along with this guide, in addition to a 3D printer to print your canary (if you don't have a 3D printer, you can send the files to a printing company for manufacturing), you'll need the following parts.

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Powering the Canary from an Outlet

You'll need a USB wall plug if you plan to power it from an outlet, regardless of whether or not it's by a light switch. To properly power your canary, your wall plug needs to provide 5V, and at least 2A.

If you have a 5V USB-C iPhone power adapter sitting around, it is the best option for plugging in the canary. To complete this setup, you'll need to get a USB Type C plug to plug adapter to go with it.

Alternatively, you can use any wall adapter that provides the required 5V 2A. If your wall plug is USB-A, then you'll need a USB-A to USB-C plug adapter. If your wall plug is USB-C, you'll need the USB Type C plug to plug adapter. Depending on the orientation your wall plug, you may also require a right angle USB type C adapter to complete your set up.

Attribution

This was inspired by one of Kattni's favorite songs from They Might Be Giants: Birdhouse In Your Soul. Check it out, and while you're at it, keep the nightlight on inside the birdhouse in your soul!

This guide was first published on May 24, 2023. It was last updated on Jun 13, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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