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This Raspberry Pi Pico Light Is a Bright Idea

The Picolight, lit
(Image credit: Alexandra Covor, Zalmotek, Mihnea Stoica, Constantin Craciun)

Taking product photos, as anyone who has had to review small shiny black things for the web will tell you, can be extremely difficult to get right. Not only does camera autofocus tend to slide off beautifully designed seamless surfaces, but getting the background and lighting right is extremely difficult too. That’s where this great project, powered by a Raspberry Pi Pico, from four makers on Hackster.io comes in.

It’s a light, but not just any old light. It’s a small studio light that can adjust both its color and intensity via the Raspberry Pi Pico (opens in new tab) and some Python code. Two custom PCBs sit behind an acrylic panel. One of the boards is a 4x4 Neopixel Matrix with a Raspberry Pi Pico (opens in new tab) on the back, and a rotary encoder and button which controls the color and brightness. The other board handles power: a LiPo battery shield which includes a charging circuit and a power switch. This part isn't strictly necessary, as the light can be powered directly over USB.

The LED matrix PCB measures 2 inches square (52mm x 52mm) and was designed in Eagle CAD by a member of the team, which comprises Alexandra Covor, Zalmotek, Mihnea Stoica, and Constantin Craciun. The drawings and Python code can be found at Zalmotek’s GitHub repository (opens in new tab), while the Hackster.io page contains a parts list, and tips for construction.

Ian Evenden
Ian Evenden

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.