An Open-Source Hardware Ambient Light Sensor Is Brought Up
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 22 December 2014 at 12:43 PM EST. 5 Comments
Richard Hughes is looking to develop an open-source USB ambient light sensor as an OpenHardware initiative.

GNOME developer Richard Hughes who is responsible for a lot of work on open-source software as well as being the engineer behind the open-source ColorHug color calibrating device is now looking at the possibility of making a USB ambient light sensor that's open-source. A few days ago I wrote about Richard's brainstorming over making a SD card based random number generator to provide fresh entropy to the system, but he's received a lot of feedback with similar devices that have already been developed and are too Linux/open-source friendly.

The latest OpenHardware idea that Hughes is toying with would be creating a USB-based ambient light sensor. The device would test for ambient light levels and be more efficient than the common hacked about approach of using a web camera as a light sensor. This proposed device would be low-power and would be a mini-dongle for measuring the ambient light level on low-end laptops. Compared to existing ambient light sensors, this one would be open-source friendly and designed for the Linux desktop needs.

Having this power efficient ambient light sensor, the GNOME desktop (and other desktop environments) could respond better to lighting changes in the room for setting an appropriate screen brightness and ideally reducing the power consumption of the laptop.

More details on this latest possible project by Richard Hughes can be found via his blog site.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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