Wine Lights

Taking a break from robots to get on with other stuff…

A while ago, I bought a few 15mm LED RGB pixels from – these ones in particular:

They’re compatible with the Adafruit LPD6803 library as used here:

Anyway, we have some glass and chrome shelves in our living room where my significant other keeps wine (as well as in my study, her office, the bedroom, the spare bedroom and every other nook and cranny around the place). We have a lot of wine. I know all about wine now. It’s white or red. I like it, or I don’t. There, job jobbed 🙂

I took ten of these lights and wired them up – plenty of info out there on how to do that, see the adafruit link above for starters.

After some tests with an Arduino Uno I built up a “breadboard” version using Adafruit perma-proto board. Ok, so they’re over £3 each but they are so nice to work with I think it’s worth it. I do find the stripboard stuff to be a bit, er, shit. In the UK, you can order them here:


 You can find all the details on putting one of these together here:

Ok, so we need an “enclosure” for this – I’m not very good at practical stuff so this is the bit I usually find hard. Fortunately, SWMBO seems to be addicted to Altoids 🙂


I managed to drill a couple of hole for wires without cocking anything up too much. The LED on the right is off an old PC, well why not…


Then we solder on a hacked USB cable (from a broken un-powered USB hub) and connect up the LED and a button to allow the light “show” (for want of a better word) to be changed.


Here’s the finished item. Not very impressive really but there you go.

I’ll put “wineLights” up on GitHub soon – it’s no big deal but just in case it’s useful…

You can find the code I cobbled together for this here:

And a video of the lights in “action” –

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