Air Quality Index Crystal

Micropython Air Quality Index Crystal from Andrew L Rogers on Vimeo.

In November 2018 California experienced the Camp Fire, the most devastating wildfire to date. Smoke from the fire drifted and lingered in San Francisco, creating a hazardous environment. The EPA ranks the air quality with the Air Quality Index, a value that ranges from 0 – 500. San Francisco often stays in the ‘good’ range of 0-50, but during the Camp Fire was in the ‘very-unhealthy’ range over 271. Schools and businesses canceled activities and government officials are encouraging residents to shelter indoors and wear NIOSH N95 respirator masks when outdoors.

As we increasingly deal with the impact of global climate change it seemed appropriate to create a visualization of the AQI, so I can determine if I need to wear a mask before heading outdoors. Fortunately, the EPA has an API for checking the current AQI by zipcode at Additionally, the EPA has assigned colors for the different ranges and provides specific hexidecimal color codes for each.

This project checks the AQI at a regular interval and adjusts the color of a series of LEDS. The project is fit inside a selenite crystal lamp because it diffuses the colors and looks really cool.

View the project on GitHub