I stumble out to my cafe area (originally designed to be a dining area, I’m sure) first thing each morning to make coffee. As I step up to the counter, a localized spotlight turns on so I can see what I’m doing, even though the overhead light is behind me so that the counter where I’m working is in my shadow.  That’s done by the smarthome node that handles the cafe area.

I was in my office at the bookcase one evening and the room wasn’t overly bright. I thought “I could use more light so I can better see the books.” It occurred to me that I had just the thing. I decided to extract the relevant part of my node design into a standalone auto-light.

This is a quick and simple project that you can wire up on prototyping board very quickly. It has the potential to be a fun gadget.

An interesting side note is that my first exposure to Adafruit was with the original Trinket and Neopixels. That was about 5 years ago. The Neopixels are the same, but the Trinket has evolved an incredible amount.

Parts List

1 x Adafruit Trinket M0
For use with CircuitPython & Arduino IDE
1 x Adafruit VL53L0X Time of Flight Distance Sensor
Detects distance from about 30 to 1000mm
1 x NeoPixel Stick
String of 8 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers
1 x 7805 Linear Voltage Regulator
5V 1.5A, Package TO-220
1 x 2.1mm DC barrel jack

This guide was first published on Jun 13, 2018. It was last updated on Apr 18, 2024.

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

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