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Building an Ambient Display

Network Strength Simulation

​An Ambient Display which visually depicts the strength of the wifi signal. It has 2 LED strips. One for indicating the download speed, the other for the upload speed. The upload speed strip has lights flowing upwards in a set of 3, while the download strip has lights trickling down. The speed with which the light flows, indicate the appropriate strength of the signal.

Network Strength Simulation

This is how the intuitive color scheme and light mechanism conveys the speed information:

Low Speed:

Red Lights, Less Brightness, Slow speed in the flow

Medium Speed:

Yellow Lights, Medium Brightness, Average speed

High Speed:

Upload: Blue Lights, Bright Lights, High speed of flow and Download: Green Lights, Bright Lights, High speed of flow

To mask the LEDs from looking like distinct bulbs, and to also make it more appealing, we have used a water dispenser to create a "Water Wall effect". This is optional and is being only used for aesthetic purposes.

(Please note: There is no direct 1-to-1 mapping between the signal strength in bytes/sec to the LED flow. We have identified a range for what can be considered as "High Speed", "Medium Speed", and "Low Speed" based on the standards mentioned here: Speedguide Based on these ranges, we have set the LED speeds arbitrarily to a value which makes them visually distinguishable.)

Read the detailed instructions here : Instructable Article

Components Used

  1. 2nos. 12V Peristaltic Pump:
  2. RGB LED Strip:
  3. Black Coloured Cast Acrylic - 1 sheet
  4. Clear Cast Acrylic - 1 sheet
  5. Particle Photon
  6. 5V Adapter
  7. Soft Ply Wood
  8. 12V DC power supply

Physical layouts and Components can be viewed here

Laser Cutting files


Water to be used a medium for ambient display: Data Fountain 3 fountains displaying the exchange rates of 3 currencies: Euro, Pound, and the Yen The tallest fountain is the most expensive.

API Reference

This project is grateful to various Web APIs and JavaScript frameworks. Here are the list of references,


Want to be one? Drop your GitHub username in comments. I will add you in the list. :)


Building an Ambient Display



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