Capacitive touch switch / relay for LED light strip with Arduino Nano for ~$13

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I started this project because I wanted some good lighting over my workbench with an easy way to turn it on/off, and a timer to turn it off in case it was accidentally left on. To do this project you will need basic soldering skills, and be able to load a program onto an Arduino. Let’s get started:

What You Will Need For This Project

  • Connector.

    Ardunio Nano

    Any Arduino should work, but I used a nano for it’s physical size Found HERE

  • Connector.

    LED Strip Lighting

    I used a 5M(meter) 12v SMD3528 Warm White Found HERE

  • Connector.

    12vdc Power Supply

    12vdc is what my strip LED required, and works well for Arduino Found HERE

  • Connector.

    Arduino Relay Module

    Single relay module Found HERE

  • Connector.

    500k - 1M resistor

    I used a ~670k resistor

  • Connector.

    Wire connectors (optional)

    I used these to hookup the relay to the LED strip Found HERE

  • Connector.


    AC Power cord, scrap wire ~22AWG, length of wire, old bolt/nail, or whatever metal you want to use for your switch

Step 1
Solder your resistor across 2 digital io pins. I used D4 and D2. Leave the long end on the side connected to D2 to test with, and attach your wire to.
Step 2
Drill a small hole on the power supply case, and feed your Arduino power wires through. Solder them to the 12vdc, and to your Arduino. Use mounting tape to adhere Arduino to case. I also soldered an AC power cord on at this point. Just cut one off of an old non-working appliance/tool, or your wifes curling iron
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  • arduino nano on power supply
Step 3
Use mounting tape for the relay on the other side of the case, then wire it up to the 5vdc, ground, and a GPIO (digital) on the Arduino. I used D12 (my ground wire in the photo is wired inside the power supply, but this is not necessary, just use gnd on the Arduino for ease)
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Step 4
Wire up the 12vdc through your relay, and to a connctor, or directly to your strip LED
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Step 5
That is the majority of the hardware setup, now you need to program the Arduino. Install the Arduino IDE if you don’t already have it installed, then cut/paste the code below into a new sketch

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