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The eLight prototype introduces the basics of concept, circuit, code and construction that are common to the projects that you will be engaged in throughout the New Media: Making Art Interactive course.

eLight is an invitation to explore the emotional and affective aspects of light and the relationship of touch and light. Framing the project in this way encourages each person to think about the role of sensory experience in interactive art and to probe our understanding of personal and collective responses to light.

A project prototype suggests that you will present eLight in a form that enables people to experience your concept of the emotional and affective aspects of light and the relationship of touch and light. A prototype successfully conveys the concept that you have in mind; it does not assume that everything will look exactly as you imagine it to be or constructed in its final form. Focus on the experience that is central to your project concept and present it in a form that enables people, other than you, to experience it.


In the process of developing your response to eLight you will explore how to:

  • make a circuit that will light LEDs

  • think of a switch [the opening and closing of the circuit] as an expressive medium

  • add the arduino to this circuit

  • use code to design the behavior of the light and interaction with touch

  • investigate the relationship of light and touch

Use the arduino tutorials authored by Limor fried on the Adafruit site to get to know the arduino, the software that you will use to design behaviors, and the leds that are part of your getting started kit.

Refer to the: Intro • Starting • Lession #1, #2, and #3

Using this guide to the arduino and leds, create varied modes of illumination that help you to communicate your eLight concept using the expressive vocabulary of steady light, blinking light, fading light, colored light, etc.

Add to this a tangible dimension that conveys the affective or emotional experience of your concept of the eLight. Materials that transmit, block, reflect or diffuse light may help you to create the experience of light that you have in mind.

Keep it simple. Describe your concept clearly and as you are in the process of making the many decisions required to realize you concept, imagine the experience of the eLight and let this experience guide the choices that you make.