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Animated staircase

Usermod Animated Staircase

This usermod makes your staircase look cool by illuminating it with an animation. It uses PIR or ultrasonic sensors at the top and bottom of your stairs to:

  • Light up the steps in the direction you're walking.
  • Switch off the steps after you, in the direction of the last detected movement.
  • Always switch on when one of the sensors detects movement, even if an effect is still running. It can gracefully handle multiple people on the stairs.

The Animated Staircase can be controlled by the WLED API. Change settings such as speed, on/off time and distance by sending an HTTP request, see below.

WLED integration

To include this usermod in your WLED setup, you have to be able to compile WLED from source.

Before compiling, you have to make the following modifications:

Edit usermods_list.cpp: 1. Open wled00/usermods_list.cpp 2. add #include "../usermods/Animated_Staircase/Animated_Staircase.h" to the top of the file 3. add usermods.add(new Animated_Staircase()); to the end of the void registerUsermods() function.

You can configure usermod using the Usermods settings page. Please enter GPIO pins for PIR or ultrasonic sensors (trigger and echo). If you use PIR sensor enter -1 for echo pin. Maximum distance for ultrasonic sensor can be configured as the time needed for an echo (see below).

Hardware installation

  1. Attach the LED strip to each step of the stairs.
  2. Connect the ESP8266 pin D4 or ESP32 pin D2 to the first LED data pin at the bottom step.
  3. Connect the data-out pin at the end of each strip per step to the data-in pin on the next step, creating one large virtual LED strip.
  4. Mount sensors of choice at the bottom and top of the stairs and connect them to the ESP.
  5. To make sure all LEDs get enough power and have your staircase lighted evenly, power each step from one side, using at least AWG14 or 2.5mm^2 cable. Don't connect them serial as you do for the datacable!

You may need to use 10k pull-down resistors on the selected PIR pins, depending on the sensor.

WLED configuration

  1. In the WLED UI, confgure a segment for each step. The lowest step of the stairs is the lowest segment id.
  2. Save your segments into a preset.
  3. Ideally, add the preset in the config > LED setup menu to the "apply preset n at boot" setting.

Changing behavior through API

The Staircase settings can be changed through the WLED JSON api.

NOTE: We are using curl to send HTTP POSTs to the WLED API. If you're using Windows and want to use the curl commands, replace the \ with a ^ or remove them and put everything on one line.

Setting Description Default
enabled Enable or disable the usermod true
bottom-sensor Manually trigger a down to up animation via API false
top-sensor Manually trigger an up to down animation via API false

To read the current settings, open a browser to (use your WLED device IP address). The device will respond with a json object containing all WLED settings. The staircase settings and sensor states are inside the WLED "state" element:

    "state": {
        "staircase": {
            "enabled": true,
            "bottom-sensor": false,
            "top-sensor": false

Enable/disable the usermod

By disabling the usermod you will be able to keep the LED's on, independent from the sensor activity. This enables you to play with the lights without the usermod switching them on or off.

To disable the usermod:

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
     -d {"staircase":{"enabled":false}} \

To enable the usermod again, use "enabled":true.

Alternatively you can use Usermod Settings page where you can change other parameters as well.

Changing animation parameters and detection range of the ultrasonic HC-SR04 sensor

Using Usermod Settings page you can define different usermod parameters, includng sensor pins, delay between segment activation etc.

When an ultrasonic sensor is enabled you can enter maximum detection distance in centimeters separately for top and bottom sensors.

Please note: using an HC-SR04 sensor, particularly when detecting echos at longer distances creates delays in the WLED software, might introduce timing hiccups in your animation or a less responsive web interface. It is therefore advised to keep the detection distance as short as possible.

Animation triggering through the API

In addition to activation by one of the stair sensors, you can also trigger the animation manually via the API. To simulate triggering the bottom sensor, use:

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
     -d '{"staircase":{"bottom-sensor":true}}' \

Likewise, to trigger the top sensor:

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
     -d '{"staircase":{"top-sensor":true}}' \
MQTT You can publish a message with either up or down on topic /swipe to trigger animation. You can also use on or off for enabling or disabling the usermod.

Have fun with this usermod.

Modifications @blazoncek

Change log

2021-04 * Adaptation for runtime configuration.

Fork specific info