My buddies Matt and Max have designed a sweet board called the Blinkyboard. It fits nicely into an addressable LED strip and allows you to easily control it. The board itself is Arduino compatible which makes working with this whole thing super easy.

I wanted to play around with it, but also make something useful. I live in Shenzhen, China where pollution can sometimes be an issue. Normally, I’ll check the site which has detailed pollution status for hundreds of cities in China. They have a gorgeous color-coded graph that I thought would be very nice if it was represented on an LED strip.

Songgang, Shenzhen AQI, PM2.5 Real-time Air Pollution Index

The Blinkyboard strip has individually controllable LED pixels, and the Air Quality site has a graph with a different color for each hour. I wrote a simple python script that takes the image, samples the color at each point, and then pushes that color to the LED strip. It was ridiculously easy to setup and the result was very nice. Now I have a simple, ambient, and colorful indication of what the pollution level is. The strip below is Beijing, which is much more polluted than Shenzhen, so the LED strip is a bit prettier, haha.

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