Series List

The Sparkling Therometer Project

What is Visible Light Communication?

How to Create a Thermometer

The Experimental Method

2015 International VLC Workshop

Make Your Very Own Thermometer!

Making Jewelry

Making a "Disco KURUMI"

Making a Planetarium

Making a Bird’s Nest

Concluding the Workshop



Yumiko Kodama

Environmental Sculptor, Lighting Designer/LED Artist
Creator of lighting for the Nagano Olympics’ award ceremonies
Creator of Hokusai’s Red
Mt. Fuji for the Chunichi Shimbun Pavilion at Expo 2005 Aichi.

Also created the Visible Light Communication Monument for the Beijing Olympics, and is currently researching “Olympic IT Strategies” at the National Institute of Informatics.


First of all, let’s download the application, point our smartphone, iPad, or cell phone at the flickering LED, and get the temperature reading. Give it a try!


It takes a little practice to get the camera to recognize the signal. If the LED is too bright, the signal appears whitish, and the camera has difficulty recognizing it.

The signal is easier to read if you cover the LED with an acrylic smoked sheet; a transparent gray would be perfect. Ladies’ black stockings work especially well and are usually easy to find. Cut the stocking to cover the LED. Using a transparent battery cover keeps the stocking in place during the experiment.

OK. Let’s put our imagination to work to decide specifically what concept we want to focus on—what we actually want to make once we know we can get the temperature.

As a matter of fact, I was at the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology in Taiwan from June 13 to 15, 2015. I led an international workshop on making thermometers using Visible Light Communication. It was the world’s first workshop using this IT kit.

The workshop gained the interest of people from many countries and produced lots of interesting ideas. Each group was comprised of three people, and we all chattered away and had a great time. Art and design education focusing on light works beautifully in groups, as it sparks communication and leaves everyone excited, delighted, and exclaiming over the shared results. Let me show you some pictures demonstrating how the workshop unfolded.

Continue on to learn about the 2015 International Workshop on Visible Light Communication.