IR Sensor Wiring

As you look at the IR sensor with the bump facing you:

  • Pin 1 (left) is Power
  • Pin 2 (middle) is Ground
  • Pin 3 (right) is the Signal pin, and goes to Teensy 12

Trim the leads a bit and splay out the pins gently so you have some room to work. Strip a bit of stranded wire and spiral around each leg, then solder in place and cover with heat shrink.  Slip a bigger piece of heat shrink over all 3 legs together and secure.

Solder the other ends of the wire to the Teensy.  (Note: I used a piece of leftover ribbon cable wire here so in the photo, my black wire is actually the Signal wire, not Ground as you may expect)

If you've uploaded the React code to the Teensy already, you can test the sensor by plugging in a USB cable and pressing some buttons on your remote.  If the Teensy's onboard LED lights up when you press a button, your sensor is working correctly.

Barrel Jack & Power Wires

Solder some beefy wires (at least 26awg) onto your barrel jack as shown -- the power wire goes to the pin at the rear, and the pin on the middle of the bottom goes to ground.  We are not using the pin on the side.

Secure with heat shrink, then cover the whole assembly with more large heat shrink.  I filled this larger heat shrink with hot glue to be sure these wires stay tight, since this jack is pretty tricky to solder a solid connection to.

Take the two wires coming from the barrel jack split them by splicing two wires onto each.  One power wire will go to the LEDs and the other will go to the Teensy. 

Dotstar Wiring

Pull your Dotstar strip out of its silicone sheath and carefully cut each light apart on the cut lines.  

Solder a wire from pin 0 on the Teensy to Dotstar's Data pin, and a wire from pin 1 to Dotstar's Clock pin.

Then, connect two of the power wires from your barrel jack to Dotstar's + and - pads.  

Connect the other two wires from the barrel jack to Teensy's G and Vin pins.  Plug in your power supply and be sure the light comes on.  You can also test out the remote control at this point and be sure things happen when you push the buttons. 

Next, prepare the first of your tea light 3d printed cups.  You'll need to make a hole that's the right size to slide the Dotstar and the wires in. A Dremel tool is ideal, but if you keep an old spare “dirty jobs” soldering iron around, that can work too. Don’t do this with your nice iron.

Solder 4 wires to the "out" pads of your Dotstar LED, then fold the wires over and slip the light into the cup through the hole you just made.  Secure it down with some hot glue.

From here on out, the artistry is up to you.  Solder as many more Dotstars in line as your finished piece demands.

Keep in mind that longer wire runs will add a lot of resistance to your circuit, so you'll need to find a balance between hiding the wires and being sure you're getting enough power to the lights.  Test each new connection as you go to minimize troubleshooting later on.

Another option is to “home-run” the power wires, but this can be more complex to visualize and build. + and – all lead back to the barrel jack (perhaps using something like Perma-Proto board to distribute power), while data and clock are chained from light to light as normal.


I added a fabric backing to my wall sconce to help hide some of the wiring and to provide a place to mount the Teensy -- I just glued it to the back of the fabric.

Mount the IR sensor someplace inconspicuous on the front of your lamp with the bump facing outwards.  Make sure it picks up signals from your remote at a comfortable distance.

This guide was first published on Apr 21, 2016. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Assembly) was last updated on Apr 13, 2016.

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