Adding a Timed Button to a Project

Contributors: Sarah Al-Mutlaq
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Why Have a Timed Power Button?

Saving energy is always a good thing, but some projects have sensitive components that need a bit of a break and would last much longer if they weren't on all the time.

Some interactive projects should not stay powered on indefinitely. Parts of LEDs (especially RGB LEDs) can burn out, systems can lock up. In SparkFun’s new retail space we have dozens of demos that could benefit from a big button that allows the user to power up the project for 5 minutes then powers down until the next customer walks by. The first project to get this attention is our classic Picture Frame Tetris. We hate leaving this on for 24 hours a day because it wastes power, it doesn’t have a good screen saver mode, and we are worried that the LEDs may burn out over time. This button was designed for that, a simple way to provide power to a project for a short time, only when needed.