You have probably already build several LED light effects. These are simple to build as only microcontroller, resistor and LED is needed. But probably you will agree that flashing powerful lamps is more exciting and so dangerous as well. Rajkumar Sharma posted his 8 channel running lights controller that can handle 100W light bulbs on each channel.
Controller is based on PIC16F628 microcontroller which drives 8 opto-isolated triacs where each can handle 230V and 100W. Running lights effects can be changed with three tactile switches. If you planning on organizing party this might be a great next project.
If you are doing lots of programming in Arduino IDE you probably find many things annoying. As an editor Arduino IDE isn’t very effective in terms of managing large source files, locating bugs and customizing. And these things doesn’t seem to change much after each new release. The good news are that there are always different options. Elecfreacks suggests to try Sublime Text 2 editor which has much more customization options in code highlighting, line numbering and code snippets.
To set things up you will need to download and install Sublime Text 2 editor and then ST2 plugin for Arduino which comes with all features similar to Arduino IDE. Try it and feel how much efficient your work can be.
OLED displays have many benefits over regular LCDs. They have better better contrast. Because there are not back-light used, a deep black levels can be displayed. They have wider viewing angles and are more power efficient. Also are more lightweight what makes them attractive for using in hand-held devices. OLED displays are available in hobby market so everyone can use them for great projects and see the benefits. Df99 have shared his instructable where he builds pretty cool alarm clock with temperature display by using Arduino Micro and 128×64 OLED display based on SSD1306 controller.
Clock function is implemented with DS3231 RTC IC which has Arduino library support. Clock has two push-buttons for clock setting. Temperature readings are done from RTC chip where sensor is used to compensate temperature drift.
Temperature loggers can be useful and vital in many places. For instance they can be implemented on greenhouses, freezers and other sensitive environments where temperature changes can cause trouble. Temperature logging can help finding weak spots in the system and help prevent failures in future. Some time ago temperature loggers relied on internal storage devices, where temperature data along time stamps were saved locally that later had to be loaded in to computer to visualize data. Today when internet of things services are here, logging can be done online without need of storing data locally. You can see logged data instantly, set alerts and even remotely control hardware. The only thing that is needed is constant internet connection. This is also not a big problem, because connecting to internet is easy as never. Whole logging system with WiFi can be set up for less than $20. noelportugal shared his simple demo on how to build a temperature logger that would send data to thingspeak.com which allows free connection to your device.
Set up consists of Arduino Pro Mini 328 which reads temperature data from 1-wire DS18B20 temperature sensor and sends it over WiFi using ESP8266 module. WiFi module can be interfaced via USART. With Arduino library this task becomes really easy. Once you get your data online, it is up to you what you want to do next.