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This project is a beginner LED POI that can be built for under $25 for a pair (if you scrounge a few parts).

It uses an RGB LED with ping pong ball for diffuser, 9 volt battery, Arduino pro-mini (or nano) and 3-axis accelerometer board.  It teaches the basics of connecting things to the Arduino, programming the Arduino, both input from the accelerometer and PWM to control the RGB LED.

Pill bottle POI 1 LED Poi spinning 1

Pill bottle poi 2