Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Meet the Color Plug

In Hardware on Dec 4, 2012 at 00:01

Yet another plug designed by Lennart Herlaar:

DSC 4291

It contains the TAOS TCS3414 color sensor. JeeLib now includes a new ColorPlug class which simplifies reading out this chip, as well as a colorDemo.ino sketch:

Screen Shot 2012 12 03 at 15 17 47

Sample output:

Screen Shot 2012 12 03 at 14 03 40

One nice use for this sensor and code is to determine the color temperature of white light sources, such as incandescent lamps, CFL’s, and LED’s. I’m trying to find a pleasant replacement for a few remaining warm white halogen lights around the house here and such a unit (especially portable) could be very handy when shopping for alternatives.

Hardware description in the Café to follow soon, as well as in the JeeLabs shop.


  1. Nice ome!

    Using this plug to ‘read’ outside sun colors and mimic them by driving LED bulbs or LED strips inside…

    Our electronic chameleon !!!

  2. Oh yes, indeed.

    Exactly what I’ve been planning to do since jcw published his first RGB led experiments.

    How is one supposed to calibrate this unit? Or should it “just work” detecting the color temperature of surrounding light?

  3. Wouldn’t it be easier/more convenient to determine the color temperature using your smartphone? Or isn’t that accurate enough?

  4. This would be very usefull for shopping indeed! Right now a few people rely on me for buying the right ledlamps etc. I might just build a device that says “buy it or leave it” so that they can figure it out themselves.

  5. i wonder if it could calculate cri index also or just look on rgb values and estimate from that ?

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