Celebrity chef Alton Brown once said “The only unitasker allowed in my kitchen is a fire extinguisher.” He’s referring to the kinds of kitchen gadgets that are only designed for a single task and that are usually advertised through infomercials, but the same philosophy should probably apply to most of your home. This is also one way of approaching Marie Kondo’s famous decluttering technique. Basically, if you like a minimalist style of décor, then try to make sure every item in your home is as useful as possible. One way to accomplish that is to build this fantastic wall-mounted shelf that features a hidden clock.
This shelf was designed by Luis of the DIY Machines YouTube channel, and his video will walk you through every step of the build process. The finished product is both a beautiful wall-mounted display shelf with built-in lighting, and a huge hidden digital clock. It’s essentially a large seven-segment display clock, but with each of the segments being the wood boards that make up the individual shelves. Those are actually 3D printed, and have LEDs hidden within. Those LEDs are diffused, so the edge of each board is lit by a soft, uniform glow when that “segment” is active to show the time.
Those LEDs are WS2812b individually addressable LEDs that come in a strip and can be set to any color. They’re controlled by a knockoff Arduino Nano board. A photosensitive resistor module is used to adjust the brightness of the LEDs to match the ambient light in the room. A DS3231 real-time clock (RTC) module helps keep accurate time. Quite a few LEDs are being used here, so you’ll probably want an external 5V power supply — though it may be possible to use USB power if you keep the brightness low. A large board is used for the back of the shelf, and all of the other pieces are 3D-printed. There are hidden mounts which can be printed in any color, and exterior covers which should be printed with wood filament. After assembly, the shelf will look like a simple IKEA-style design until the clock is turned on.