Are you ready to make your very own Flip n Shine lamp?
Please follow the step-by-step instruction in the video below to make your Flip n Shine character.
Done? Now flip it upside down…. WOW…. Why does it turn on and off by itself? Is it MAGIC? 🙂
So how does it work? Let’s explore it together ....
First, let’s take a look at our main component called printed circuit board or PCB. You’ve done a great job assembling it!
On the PCB, you have two lamps, one battery, and one component called tilt switch. It looks like this:
Tilt switch allows you to detect orientation. It works just like the light switches at your home. Do you know how to turn the light switch in your room on and off?
Tilt switch works just like it. Now try and shake it, can you hear a “CLING” inside the tilt switch? There’s a ball inside it that can move up and down. When you hold it upright, the ball is touching the base, making a connection with the lamps. That’s why the lamps are lit. When you hold it upside down, the ball is not touching the base, so the connection to the lamps is broken, and that’s why the lamps are off.
So it works just like the light switch in your house, but the on and off switch works by turning the lamp upside down. Pretty cool, right?
- Does it matter which way round the LED or lamp goes into the circuit?
First, try putting in the LEDs according to the picture on the PCB, the long leg and the short leg should go into their own slots. Your LED should light up!
Now try flipping the LED legs. Does the LED still light up? It should NOT! That’s because the lamp is polarized so they have to be connected in the correct orientation.
Now, do the same thing for the Tilt switch. What happens? Does it matter which orientation the tilt switch goes into the circuit? NO. That’s because the tilt switch does not have orientation so it does not matter how it’s plugged into the circuit.
- Can you think of a project where the tilt switch can be useful?
There are so many fun projects you can build using this simple concept. Project examples: Lights that turn on when the garage door is opened, and turn off when the door is closed.
An example submitted by @gouw: pet feeder alarm. Please see picture below 🙂
@gouw: "My idea is to use my Flip n Shine to let my family know that food in the pet feeder is low and it's time to refill the container, so Ivy (my dog) won't go hungry :)"