PCB Lamp Workshop

Components and instructions to create your own touch-activated lamp, and learn about product design, hardware and firmware.

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Based on the original PCB lamp project, this is part of the Introduction to Electronics Design workshop. Now updated and more hackable!

This lamp is a spinoff of the original PCB lamp project. Now, we explore hardware manufacturing, firmware, and mechanical design with a more hands-on approach.

The Hardware

There are two main hardware components: 

  • Controller Board: The "brains" and power source
  • Lamp Board: the lighting element
    • Ribbon cable to connect Base and Lamp (6" and 10")

The Firmware

Raspberry Pi Pico runs on C++, Arduino IDE, or MicroPython.  For this project, we will be using MicroPython with Thonny Editor.

The Design

There are four different versions of the Lamp to choose from. They all include four LED's, and other components that will be detailed later. 

The Base is one standard design, and it can be placed as close or far from the lamp as needed. We will be using 6" or 10" long ribbon cables.

Please see Build Instructions for detailed information about downloads, templates, etc

PCB Lamp Workshop - Controller Board v3.1.step

STEP file with grove/crowtail connectors

step - 6.83 MB - 02/28/2024 at 19:24


stp - 1.50 MB - 04/26/2023 at 00:27


stp - 1.36 MB - 04/26/2023 at 00:27


stp - 1.85 MB - 04/26/2023 at 00:27


stp - 1.99 MB - 04/26/2023 at 00:27


View all 19 files

  • 1 × Controller Board Raspberry Pi Pico W & Battery holders (3 'AA')
  • 1 × Lamp Board Four shapes available. Each with four LED's and a Miniature Reflective Object Sensor
  • 1 × Ribbon Cable 6" OR 10"
  • 8 × M2 Hex nuts Optional depending on lamp design
  • 8 × M2 Screws Optional depending on lamp design

  • 1

    Controller and Lamp are connected with a ribbon cable (see Data Sheet). There are two available cables: 6 and 10". Depending on your design, you may choose one or the other. 


    The same goes for the four Lamp Board shapes. All have the same components. Please choose the one that better fits your design concept. 

    The Controller Board is one-sided. This means that all the components are on the top and it can lay flat on a surface. This is where the Raspberry Pi Pico W and batteries are found.

    There are a few important design considerations that we will define in the next steps.   

  • 2
    Controller Board

    The Controller Board has a few important components and attributes to be aware of when designing your Lamp project. 

    • The Raspberry Pi Pico W board. This small but mighty development board has a RP2040 microcontroller and Wi-Fi connectivity. This brings fantastic possibilities for your project. More on that later.
    • 3 'AA' battery holders. Ideally, these should be easily reachable. Batteries can be rechargeable.
    • Ribbon cable connector. 
    • USB mini port. Your design will determine if this port has to be accessible at all times or not. However, we will use it to flash (upload) firmware to the RP2040. 

    Assembly holes and precise dimensions can be found in the DXF, AI, and 3D STEP files. 

  • 3
    Lamp Board

    As mentioned earlier, all Lamp Boards have the same components. Here is a quick overview, before we go into more detail:

    • Four addressable RGB LED's. RGB means that they can cast Red, Green, Blue light, and everything in between. Addressable means that each one can be operated separately. 
    • One Mini Object Sensor. This sensor can detect motion or objects near it. It has a range of 5 mm. If you want to learn more about it, you can check out Sparkfun's breakout board listing.
    • Four assembly holes. 
    • One ribbon cable connector. This cable supplies power and sends and receives data to and from the Controller Board.

    Just like the Controller Board, assembly holes and precise dimensions can be found in the DXF, AI, and 3D STEP files. 

View all 9 instructions

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