This hidden door illuminates with the touch of your hand

This Lord of the Rings-inspired hidden door won’t take you to middle-earth, but a basement movie theater instead! 

In J.R.R. Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings,” the Doors of Durin (also known as West-gate of Moria) were built in the dark cliffs of Silvertine Mountain and protected the great Dwarvencity of Khazad-dûm. They were made like a flush door, the jambs invisible to the eye, and matched so perfectly with the mountain rock that, when closed, the entryway could not be seen. Adhering to the same principle, a Maker by the name of “Neular” has devised a Gates of Durin-inspired hidden entrance of his own, powered by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328).


While the panel may initially appear to be just any other part of the wall, a simple swipe of his hand reveals a more elaborate, illuminated replica of Doors of Durin to the mines of Moria. And it’s not just a decorative trick, either. The panel actually serves as a hidden entrance into the homeowner’s basement movie theater.


To bring this magical idea to life, the Maker built a shadow box out of some 2x4s and plywood he had lying around, while adding a plexiglass front covering over the door. Inside, he affixed several strips of ultra-bright LED lights, which he had secured using liquid nails. The actual “Lord of the Rings” design was cut from the vinyl and then painted over.


“Right now, the door opens automatically after a touch of the hand. Soon, I will integrate voice recognition, so you will first have to touch it to illuminate it, then speak the elvish word for friend ‘Mellon’ in order to gain access,” he writes. “I’m also going to cause the light just above this door to flicker and go out right before the door illuminates to have a much larger BAAM! effect.”

The door is controlled using an Arduino Uno (ATmega328), which the Maker programmed to sense capacitive touch. Meanwhile, the soon-to-be-added voice recognition will be completed using an EasyVR Shield 2.0.

You’ll have to see it in action to really get its full effect. Watch below! Interested in learning more? Head over to the project’s step-by-step log here.

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