Samtid mood-light upgrade


Materials: SAMTID

My 2nd attempt at building a reasonable mood-light using the IKEA Samtid lamp as the base. The previous attempts involved building a custom lamp shade, which didn’t look very polished at all.

This one is different. It doesn’t need any irreversible modifications to the lamp part (upper body + shade) at all, it is just added to it. It’s build around an ATmega168P micro-controller + 64 addressable RGB LEDs (WS2812B). It needs a 5V, 3A power supply.

Some optional mechanical modifications to the lamp’s lower body (struts) can be made to hide some of the wiring. I had previously made these additional holes, so I could simply reuse them for this project.


Two additional holes / slots in the empty beam. One of them contains the AC mains wire, so I used the other one.


One somewhat larger hole milled into the central column. There’s plenty of space.


Additional wires bridging across the swivel joint.


Getting the spring off and on again is a bit of a challenge. It is a really nasty bastard. Using a strong piece of string to pull it off turned out to be the easiest and safest way. Maybe wear gloves to protect your hands, should the string slip.


The main circuit board fits snugly over the threaded lamp socket. As there are at least 2 slightly different versions of the Samtid lamp (this is the older one), a spacer board may or may not be necessary to keep the lamp-shade-holder from interfering with the LEDs. I used a bit of cardboard in this case, it’s about 1.5 to 2mm thick.


Partially assembled lamp – testing the upgrade.


The controller board is removable, there’s no need to rip the lamp apart for changing the firmware. The two buttons are used to switch between modes, adjust colour and brightness.


Uploading code to the controller board using a cheap USB to serial adapter (FTDI compatible).

Code / design files are on github.

Finally a video. Enjoy!