Interactive Music Lamps

Project Description

There are three types of spinning objects hanging on the wall, wooden one, acrylic one, and a wheel. All of the objects serve as not only playthings but also lamps and musical instruments. Each has a long Led strip and interactive controllers which are potentiometers and a rotary encoder.

When people begin to spin each object, they start to play music. As to the wooden object, it generates different melodic music in terms of the rotation degrees. The acrylic object sounds beat music with responsive lighting; the brightness of LED is changed with the levels of music. The last object comes from a car wheel cover and it generates a metal sound. Additionally, each LED has an indicator, so when the indicator of each project meets, it creates special lighting effect and sound. If there is no interaction for a while, it automatically turns off the lighting as well as sound.


1. Mechanism Design 

We are going to make three 16 inch lamps that will be hanged on the wall. They should be strong, so we have to consider about the weight balance, wires, and how to get sensor values. This is the design for the wood lamp created with Fusion 360.


2. GarageBand, Arduino and MAXMSP

For the wood lamp and acrylic lamp, we use potentiometers. When the wood lamp is span, a different piano sound track will be played and the NeoPixel LED Strip behind will change its color. For the acrylic lamp, the interaction is pretty much the same, but instead of piano sound, different drum sound will be play. We also send the volume data of drum sound from MAXMSP to Arduino, so that the brightness of acrylic lamp can be changed according to the sound.

The function of metal lamp is to add “ding-ding-ding” or “dang-dang-dang” sound to the whole music piece. The faster you spin, the quicker the sound will be played. We use rotary encoder for the metal lamp, as it is more smooth and easy to rotate.

Design the music

Serial communication between Arduino and MAXMSP to control lighting effect and sound tracks.

Github Repository for all the code.
3. Fabrication 

Laser cut all the pieces and get NeoPixel LED Strip, Slip Ring, Lazy Susan Bearing and all kinds of screws ready.

In order to rotate 360 degree freely, we tear apart the potentiometer and get rid of the metal which blocks it from turning all the way through.

Make gears and assemble the parts.

Solder the wires and NeoPixels


Make the cover

Final look



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