Is it snowing in Tahoe yet? Hard to know in sunny San Francisco 204 miles away. So I made a retro billboard connected to Yahoo! Weather via If This Than That to flash on when the snow is falling. Then I just need to grab my ski pass and head for the hills.
How To Make It
: Make your billboard
Grab a Billboard Kit from Boundless Brooklyn (http://www.boundlessbrooklyn.com/products/billboard-model-kit) and set it up. The kit uses 'glue dots' to assemble so you can have your structure ready in about 2 minutes. I also recommend glue a plank *behind* the sign to serve as a cradle for your electronics.
: Add the LittleBits
Snap together 1 cloudBit, 1 wire, and 3 long LEDs. Glue them down on the cradle behind the billboard surface. Test to ensure full connections and that the LEDs are receiving power.
: Draw your sign
I spent nearly a week looking at vintage Lake Tahoe postcards to style the type and scenic nature view of the mountains. Then I sketched it at a coffee shop in the Castro and watercolored it in. My best tip: make it layered. Create a flat background and then glue the actual language touts on top. The raised lettering looks fantastic.
: Connect to the Weather
Using If This Than That, connect the CloudBit to Yahoo! Weather. I needed multiple recipes running. One to turn the lights on "forever" when conditions change to snow. 3 to turn the unit off whenever conditions change to "sunny" "overcast" or "rain."
: Test it
I always set up a IFTTT test for the unit that connects a simple text message to turning the lights on. When that works, I know the cloudBit is getting working instruction from the IFTTT servers.