Mood Lights


Project by: Sarah Gallacher, Connie Golsteijn, Jenny O'Connor, and Ritsuko Ozaki.

Year: 2014

Duration: 6 weeks

My role: I got involved with this project at the design stage of the Mood Lights and designed and implemented these together with Sarah Gallacher.

Goal: design a system that can visualise how people have used a box with six coloured stress balls (Squeeze Box) to squeeze the colour of their mood. A previous study with these Squeeze Boxes had used an interactive floor display to show an aggregate of squeezed colours. For a new deployment this floor was not available so a new visualisation device had to be designed.

Design: The Mood Lights visualise what colours people have squeezed on the Squeeze Boxes in two different ways. The top two parts of the light shows the most recent squeezes: a random light changes in colour immediately after the user squeezes. The bottom part shows the most popular colour for every day for the duration of the deployment. Four Mood Lights were implemented to be placed on four different floors of an office building during a five week deployment.

The overarching goal of this research prototype was to explore how interactive technologies can foster light-weight social interactions in the workspace. The Squeeze Boxes and their visualisations aimed to encourage conversation and reflection.

Publication: We are currently in the process of writing up this research. Information about publications will be available soon.


Set-up of the Mood Light and SqueezeBox in an office building.

The top part of the Mood Light shows the most recent squeezes while the bottom part (bulbs) shows the most squeezed colour of each day of the deployment.

Spontaneous competitions arose to keep the Mood Lights in one specific colour.

The Mood Lights were designed to be modular so that they could be easily transported. We used Ikea lamps as a basis for the implementation.

LED strips were controlled with an Arduino to set the right colour for each light.

For the bottom part, LED strips had to be carefully disassembled and reassembled to fit the bulbs.

For the top part, a different type of LED strips was used. These strips were sewed on to the light's covers.

Squeeze Boxes registered each squeeze and stored the data on a webserver from which the visualisations downloaded their data.