Tech is Art. Combination of IoT, solar energy harvesting and code.

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Many people see technology as work, as tool for solving problems or "just there". While those are all true, working with technology is also art.

Its a way of expression, it has an impact on people, beautiful and ugly things are created, there is controversy around it and it surrounds us fully.

This project wants to emphasize and acknowledge this aspect.

This art installation shows the beauty of electronics, the creativity around technology and is an acknowledgement to tech in general.

Exhibited at a bright and sunny spot, this "image" will illuminate itself during night hours. 

Visitors can log onto a wifi accesspoint that is provided by the installation.

Future plans:

  • Use 5V LEDs to save on DC DC conversion and hence reduce the overall power consumption
  • Show logged on visitors the current level of illumination, the uptime of the installation, how many different users connected
  • Implement OTA updates
  • Use smart sensing for light switching (to filter out self-induced light)


schematic view of parts and connections

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 45.44 kB - 07/15/2018 at 13:07



View of the backside with the electronics and wiring

JPEG Image - 4.50 MB - 07/15/2018 at 12:46


  • 1 × Sparkfun ESP32 Thing Microcontroller board with some I/O and Wifi onboard. Available at
  • 1 × Solarmodule 12V 20W Solarmodule rated at 12V for at least 20W (peak), e.g. Süd SOLAR GmbH Art.Nr.03120. Available at e.g. Amazon.
  • 2 × Micro USB cables One to cut for pieces and one to power ESP32
  • 1 × USB Battery pack Standard USB Battery Pack that supports charging and discharging at the same time.
  • 1 × DC-DC Step Up Boost 5V to 12V DC-DC Step Up converter to transform the USB Battery 5V to 12V required for LEDs. Available on e.g. Ebay.

View all 10 components

  • 1
    Solarmodule preparation

    Carefully put solar module on some soft underground so the front does not scratch. Then cut the long wire to around 50cm (see backside image as reference). Everything will be put in the back of the panel and there is plenty of room.

  • 2
    ESP32 LED connections

    Solder and connect the components around the ESP32 (see schematic for reference). The GATE of the IRF3707Z should be connected to PIN17, the SOURCE should be connected to GND and the DRAIN is connected to Vin- of the DC-DC Step Up converter.

  • 3
    ESP32 LDR connections

    Solder and connect the 10kOhm resistor between GND and PIN36, the LDR should connect PIN36 with 3.3V (between GND and RST).

View all 12 instructions

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