Wave Light

Exploring natural interactions

Having just completed a large design project involving the future of smart home technology, we were inspired to experiment with a concept of our own — an interactive light controlled by the wave of a hand.

Waving your hand over the light turns it on and off.

The concept behind our “Wave Light” is simple. You can turn the light on or off by waving your hand over the light, or you can raise or lower your hand over the light to adjust its brightness. To accomplish this we paired an Arduino with an infrared distance sensor to track hand movement and set the brightness of the lamp.

A simple processing sketch allowed us to detect a hand wave while also capturing the distance of our hand from the light source to programmatically control brightness.


An Arduino and a handful of parts was all it took to rig-up our demo.

A diagram of the pinout for our Arduino circuit.
Putting it all together made for an early prototype. On/off (left) // Brightness (right)

This is a just example, but it’s interesting to consider how everyday objects could be connected or more smartly controlled in the future.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke

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