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Picture of Aurora alerts ring

While visiting the north part of Scotland, I came across websites and apps that shows alerts for the Aurora (northern lights). After reading Uri Shaked article "How to Connect Your T-Shirt to Slack Using Arduino", I decided to create an Aurora alerts ring, using WeMos board and 24 NeoPixel LED and gets the alerts from AuroraWatch UK API.

I won’t explain here how the software works, you can read Shaked article for that.

Step 1: Step 1: Materials

Picture of Step 1: Materials

For this project you will need:



  • WeMos D1 Mini  - A tiny ESP8266-based board that run Arduino code, and has built-in WiFi support
  • An RGB LED Ring, I recommend using the 24 NeoPixel LED

I used 24 NeoPixel LED but you can use any type of display you like. Gust modify the code as needed.

I decided to frame it all so I can put it on a wall. And use a standard USB cable to power it up.

Mamvcivm1 year ago

Been away from this for a few weeks, finally got a 24 LED Neo Pixel. I can't get my head around the coding and I can't get it to illuminate a proper proportion of the ring for values below 50. ie if the activity level is currently 7, I'd expect 7/50*24 pixels to light - which equates to 3 LEDs, however, non are currently lit..Please advise how I can improve this...


kulaone (author)  Mamvcivm1 year ago


Yellow alert => 50. Amber => 100 and Red => 200.
The ring is up to 200, in that point we get a full red circle.
There for your calculation is 7/200*24 = 0.84, so no LED should be on.

There is a parameter name "testRingMode". When changing it to true, the system will set a random number (0-249) every 3 Sec. So you can test the LED ring.



Thanks Daniel, I'll see if I can modify it so that if it's green the calculation will be (e.g.) 7/50*24.

I have a similar device that uses a Blinkt connected to a Pi Zero and I wrote it's program in Python. Yours is much more sophisticated and I feel an ESP8266 sat on my wifi network is possibly less vulnerable to attack than an RPi.

Mamvcivm made it!1 year ago
Very easy to make - just got to adjust the values as an activity level of approx
Great Instructable - exactly what I've been trying to do for a while :-)
My text above got garbled - I meant to say, I need to edit the values a bit as activity below about 20 doesn't register on the LEDs...
Carlreade1 year ago

Just made it brilliant!

GeoffN31 year ago

Hi , I've made one. Works very well. The only change I made was to use a strip of leds and mount them just out of sight on the back ov my TV .In the evening I can see the glow of the lit leds on the wall behind the TV without being intrusive . The TV also has a handy spare USB socket to power the unit

kulaone (author)  GeoffN31 year ago

What a great idea

A couple of updates.
I noticed that my wifi seemed a bit slow over the last day or so.After a bit of investigation and using a wifi monitor I found that the EEP8266 was acting as both an access point and a station and broadcasting on the same channel as my home router. To make it act as a station only you have to add this line.
immediatly befor the line.
in the source code.
I found that when my wife turned her reading light In the evening I could not see the led's glow on the wall. But our TV stand has a glass top, so I taped the led strip to the underside of the glass top and now I can see the glow of the leds but not the strip its self.
kulaone (author)  GeoffN31 year ago


I will update the code.

Swansong2 years ago

Fun idea :) We get aurora here sometimes but you have to go out of town to see it.