Hack the Light Fantastic

Pi mote 2Since meeting Adam from Energenie at the Stourbridge Jam Packed event, back in January, I’ve been mulling over far too many opportunities and projects to support using these Pi-mote control devices. Hence the delay with anything concrete to show, other than a hacked dance glitter ball. Of which I was immensely proud of, though 🙂

Pi Mote

I love that spectrum of choice that they offer, from simplicity through to complex possibilities, which extends to supporting teachers with a range of projects from Key Stage 2 upwards. With code already tested and shared, it’s been a brilliant chance to get younger children scanning the source code and looking for particular variables to change, whether that’s been timings or hashtags within the Twython functionality.

For those teachers focusing on using Raspberry Pi for a simple cause and effect activity through to those looking to develop text based programming language skills with Python.

And of course those teachers working with through the Research and Play project and maybe not teaching discrete Computing in school but looking to explore, creatively and across the curriculum, through computational thinking. That’s where the origins of project proposals with a Tardis or a robot materialised from.

So fast forward to the Raspberry Jamboree and a chance to take along a B+ and to ask, learn and develop with a little help from the community.

Lamp start

To really stretch those inclusive and creative opportunities I wanted to move towards the Twitter streamer and that’s where I’d previously run into difficulties.

Code reminder Code reminder 2

But with input and collaboration came success and a couple of lessons learnt to share.  Number one which is to be overly cautious when using a school’s wi-fi with social media sites and consider any set up restrictions.  I know that; just needed reminding!

Lamp on

And what I learnt at the Jamboree?  In a way, nothing new.  More than anything that I continue to ask the ‘how and what’ questions to everyone I talk to, and continue to be amazed by the ideas shared beyond my own imagination.

Lamp testing

Regardless of age or perceived experiences with Raspberry Pi, there’s always something I can glean to build and improve on my own projects.  Or that flash of inspiration that often comes from an off the cuff comment.  Hacking a Furby toy to use to control the lights remotely. Really? Ooooo, how about if………..

How did I do it?

Installed Twython Streamer with: 

Then ran this modified script, which needs to be tweaked to include personalised Twitter settings and a hashtag trigger:

2 thoughts on “Hack the Light Fantastic

  1. Energenie is great!

    You should know there’s a Python library for Energenie, so you don’t need all the GPIO lines. Just:

    sudo pip install energenie

    and then

    import energenie



    1. Thank you, think that’s just set me on the road to lighting up the robot that’s been waiting for a project! I’ll have a go; sounds even easier 🙂


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