Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 6, 2012

ATTiny based Electronic Candle

at 5:20 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Our friend Pete Mills developed this great ATTiny based Electronic Candle, we have seen electronic candles before but what makes this one shine is how the flickering was done. Pete actually sampled the actual flicker patterns of a real candle flame so that this reproduced flame would look as close to the real thing as possible.

You can see some other electronic candle designs here for inspiration.

“The ATTiny Candle is an LED candle. It uses a high brightness LED and some software to mimic the look of a traditional candle without the dangers associated with an open flame.

I figured the hardest part of this project would be making the flicker look realistic, so I decided to let nature do that part for me.  I made this candle with a Light Detecting Resistor ( LDR ) and a fixed resistor acting as a voltage divider.  This is fed to one of the ATTiny85’s ADC inputs and sampled at discrete time intervals.  At this time, the sample rate is 100mS.  These 8-bit light level values are then stored to EEPROM so that the candle can recall the flicker pattern to play back on the LED that is connected to a PWM channel after being turned off.  You only need to program the pattern once, but you can program it over and over again with just the push of a button.”




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2 Responses to “ATTiny based Electronic Candle”

  1. Fuming Solder Says:

    I’m thinking: with a larger EEPROM you can probably record several distinct patterns and then recall them randomly to increase the “playback” time. Re-recording the single pattern seems rather unpractical for the actual use of the candle (though I understand full well that many hobby projects are started for the joy of building it rather than using it after it’s been built 🙂 )

  2. jeffkobi Says:

    Genius idea of sampling an actual candle with the LDR!
    – Could you take it to the next level by adding multiple mics/low pressure sensors around the candle’s diameter (inner/outer? not sure what would be best), sampling air patterns while simultaneously sampling the real candle light.
    – In theory, you could then correlate air patterns to flame flicker?
    – Using this pressure/flicker algorithm, couldn’t you then install the same mics/low pressure sensors around the LED candle and have it react to real air patterns in the room?
    – Would definitely be pretty expensive to make, but it would be the LAST candle you’d ever have to buy!

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