The Halo Maker is my lighting fixture assignment for my Light and Interactivity Class with Tom Igoe this semester. The most important element of this assignment was to have the dimming controllable by a physical control. We could experiment and find new ways to control our fixture.
I decided to make an interactive light piece specially for a white round lacquer dining table with stark white walls around it in my living room. The light piece was to be an ambient piece, good for late night conversations, music playing around and most likely drinks. The light turns on and off by loud ambient noises. This could be a shout, a laugh, a hard hit on a surface.
I was inspired by natural and optical phenomena called solar halos. Tiny ice crystals in the Earth's atmosphere create this effect when they hit direct sun light. The halos are caused by both refraction-splitting of light, and also by reflection - glints of light from ice crystals. To imitate this effect I turned to dichroic film and addressable LED strip lights.
The light piece is made up of addressable LED's, an Ardunio Uno programmed in Arduino software, a microphone used a sensor to listen to noise above a certain threshold. Please visit this link to view a step by step video of how this lamp was made.