Stairs light controller – project on demand

I got a request for a project on demand, and I agreed, because I can also use this device for something else 🙂 A few weeks ago, “someone” asked me to build a stairs-light-controller. He wanted to put 10 bright LEDs into the side of his stairs, and wanted the LEDs to go on/off automatically, when you go up/down the stairs. (and also taken into account if there is enough light in the room or not …)

About the request:

  • He wanted the LEDs to turn on, one by one, in the upper direction, when he walks up the stairs.
  • When he walks down the stairs, the LEDs need to be turned on, one by one, in  downwards direction.
  • Sensor on top and bottom of the stairs, are my already designed, laser-beam cross detectors.
  • When there is enough light in the room, the LEDs do not need to be turned on, only if it’s dark enough.
  • When you go upstairs (or downstairs), and you change your mind, the LEDs go off about 2 minutes after this, starting in the middle.

Because I think other people are also interested in this controller, I made everything configurable. I created a small board, which I can put onto the main controller, to do some programming. A small 2×16 chars LCD and some pushbuttons makes life easier 🙂

When you put the programming board onto the main controller, a menu appears on the small LCD, the following parameters can be changed by the pushbuttons:

  • number of outputs to use (min = 2 – max = 12, but if you have a small stair, I can imagine that you have enough with 6 outputs)
  • time between LEDs to go on/off, in milliseconds. (min = 1 msec – max = 2 sec) the LEDs turn on/off smoothly/slowely, taking up the whole time between 2 LEDs.
  • time-out value (to automatically turn off the LEDs – min = 1 sec – max = 240 sec)

As you can see, this is a highly configurable module 🙂 Please contact me for more info, or if you want me to build one.

Click here if you want to download the PCB design / firmware for the Stairs-light-controller
Click here if you want to download the PCB design for the laser sensor

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About Kris

I'm born on april 3th, 1974 in Leuven (Belgium). My love of my life is my lovely Christel Pauwels, with who I'm sharing love, my life, a nice house and lots of mutual hobbies and interests. (electronics / (model)trains / travelling / enjoying life / mechanics etc ...)
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4 Responses to Stairs light controller – project on demand

  1. Dario says:

    Hi Kris
    can you please tell me witch chip did you use AT90S2313 OR ATiny2313??
    because in schematic you use AT90 and in Bascom file you use ATiny 2313 library.

    • Kris says:

      Hello Dario,

      I use the Attiny2313.
      But it should also work with the AT90S2313, actually, the AT90S2313 is the previous version of the ATTiny2313 🙂

      Good luck with the project,

  2. Dario says:

    Hi Kris

    I’ve finished your project board and i have some question
    1. can lcd board stay on or i need it only to program parameters?
    2. what is the value for i2c terminator if i need to take out the lcd?
    3. i am not using daylight sensor do i need pull up ressistor (what value) or pulldown since my board is not working without this sensor ?
    Thank you very much

  3. Kris says:

    Hi Dario,

    1. You need to remove the LCD, and put a 4-pins header in the connector where the LCD normally fits in, otherwise “normal operation” is not possible.
    2. To make this terminator, the 2 pins located mostly to the border of the PCB, need to be shorted. Between these 2 pins and the pin most inner of the PCB, you need to solder a 4K7 resistor.
    3. After checking the PCB, I noticed that you may NOT use a simple piece of wire to make the bridge for bypassing the light-sensor !
    To bypass the light-sensor, you need to bridge pin 1 and pin 3 of the most upper-left 3-pins connector, also with a 4K7 resistor. (leaving pin 2 unconnected !)

    This should do the trick, good luck 🙂
    In case of problems, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    best regards,

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