The Maccabeam – Automatic Laser Menorah

Embedded technology is revolutionizing the way we engage with objects of importance in our lives.

An inspiring example of this is the Maccabeam, an automated light up Menorah designed by Samuel Goldstein that offers a modern take on the seven-branched candelabra that is traditionally illuminated over the course of Hanukkah.

Thoroughly documented on his blog, Samuel’s invention uses a GPS module connected to a Teensy 3.2 to deduce the time and location and calculate the Hebrew date.

If it’s determined that it’s time to do so, the WS2812 RGB LEDs in the menorah will illuminate stars cut in the menorah’s laser cut wooden structure in colorful animations along the branches, resulting in the corresponding “lamps” (miniature jars of olive oil) at the tip of each branch to be lit up by the laser diodes below. The Maccabeam also includes an LCD display noting details like the time for sun up and sun set as well as sound effects played through a piezo speaker.