Bathroom Light Mark I

Background

I have been thinking about getting into Arduinos for a long time. A friend told me about them years ago and I since have been looking for an excuse to start playing with them. Grad school did well at interfering with this desire. Now, though, I have a bit of free time and a bit of disposable income. All I needed was a project.

My girlfriend has roommates and shares a bathroom. For her, discovering that the bathroom is occupied is currently an enormous waste of time. The impetus behind my first project, then, is to create a light in her room that turns on when the bathroom is occupied, saving her the trouble of a trip.

Mark I

I won’t go into immense detail here. First of all, I have no real inclination to catalogue every passing change I made. I would like this blog to more catalog my progress. Certainly if someone is interested (ha) then I am willing to expound; it’s not necessary for me. But perhaps more pertinently, this circuit is not all that interesting. Bathroom Light Mark I was my Hello World! project.

So here we are.

The first iteration of my Bathroom Light project.

The first iteration of my Bathroom Light project.

Right now, the Arudino is hooked into a breadboard. The breadboard is holding two components: a Hall Effect sensor that was kindly donated by a coworker (far left of the breadboard) and a tiny red LED light (far right). When a magnet is placed near the Hall Effect sensor, it senses the Hall Effect (whatever that is… I’m not big on physics), and relays that signal to the Arudino, which in turn lights up the LED. A magnet turns the light on.

This is a very simple version of what I envision for the bathroom. I intend to mount the sensor on the doorframe and a magnet on the door. When the door is closed, the magnet will be in close proximity to the sensor, and can trigger an alert light.

I’ve got a long way to go, obviously, but this felt like an achievement stable enough to christen Mark I. Plus I just got a box full of new parts and I wanted to document the milestone before disassembling it in favor of a more intricate system.

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