It can be difficult to appreciate when the air quality is decent and when it’s bad, unless the conditions are so bad that you can literally see smog floating in the air. Rather than trying to digest a bunch of air quality numbers, [guillaume_slizewicz] built Canari – a cute lamp that highlights the problem of air pollution by taking local air quality data and turning it into light patterns.
Canary is of course named after the brave birds that once alerted miners to dangerous weather conditions before they were forced to switch to carbon monoxide sensors. This bird has a Raspberry Pi Zero W that gets air quality data from a public API and controls the lights with a PWM hood based on the concentration of particles in the air. The more particles there are, the weaker the LEDs and the faster they fade.
The main data that Canary captures is the amount of particles, and the display can toggle between representing the level of PM2.5 (particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers) in the air and PM10. Watch the demo and installation video after the break.
Rather a person of numbers? All you really need is a microcontroller, an air quality sensor, and a display.