The LightSound Project

A Solar Eclipse Sonification Tool

Recording of the LightSound Live Eclipse Stream Event April 8, 2024

The History of the LightSound

The evolution of the LightSound and its journey around the world.

What is the LightSound?

The LightSound device was designed and developed in 2017 as a tool for the Blind and Low Vision (BLV) community to experience a solar eclipse with sound. The device uses a technique called sonification which is the process of converting data (or light intensity in this case) to sound. As the Moon eclipses the Sun during a Solar Eclipse the sunlight begins to dim and the LightSound device will output a change in musical tone. The device can be attached to headphones or to a speaker to project the sound for a group. LightSound is powered by either by a 9V battery, rechargeable Li-ion battery, or by connecting it to a laptop via USB. Data can be collected and saved for later analysis or sonification when the device is connected to a computer.

Example demo sound clip. The orange case was 3D printed for the 2019/2020 South American eclipses in Chile. The black circle slowly covers the light sensor as a representation of the dimming of the sunlight during the eclipse. Video credit: Paulina Troncoso Iribarren

Submit your LightSound eclipse photos, videos, and data!


The LightSound Project is completely open source. Everything you need to build your own device is below in English, Spanish, and French.


Workshops are designed to both allow us an opportunity to build LightSound devices to be donated for upcoming eclipses and also provide an opportunity for groups to learn how to solder and lead future workshops!

A table with three rows of 3D printed LightSound device cases. The cases are all different colors and stacked about three devices high. The case is about the size of a smart phone and the lid has the LightSound logo which is a musical note in a circle with the word LightSound underneath and LightSound written in Braille above.
Want to get involved?
Interested in running your own workshop? Know how to solder? Want to help prepare for upcoming eclipses in your area?
A set of helping hands holding a partially completed printed circuit board with two arduino components soldered on it and a soldering iron in the image.
UT Austin - Austin, Texas
January 2024
Two women woldering LightSound components at a table in the foreground while two women are standing behind them talking. In the background there is another table of five men who are working on building LightSound devices during a workshop at UT San Antonio.
UT San Antonio - San Antonio, Texas
September 2023
Four female students sitting around a table with soldering irons hold up their completed LightSound printed circuit boards while smiling and taking a selfie.
Harvard University - Cambridge, Massachusetts
July 2023
The side profile of a man in green shorts and a plaid short sleeve top wearing glasses is working at a soldering station soldering a component of the LightSound device. The table around him is scattered with supplies and a coffee mug.
UT Austin - Austin, Texas
June 2023
A woman in a gray Colorado flag t-shirt with a pony tail is helping a male student learn to solder. Behind them is a table of three more students soldering during a LightSound workshop.
University of Arizona - Tucson, Arizona
April 2023
A room full of round white table and blue chairs with around ten people soldering during a soldering workshop.
Rochester Museum of Science - Rochester, New York
October 2022
A man with a beard and a blue short sleeve shirt is assembling a LightSound case at a table with a woman who is soldering her LightSound device.
American Astronomical Society - Honolulu, Hawaii
January 2020

Preparing for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

The LightSound Project has a goal of building 750+ devices to be distrubuted at no-cost to groups hosting eclipse events. Our hope is to provide a tool to aid in the accessibility of eclipse events for the blind and low vision community. The device can also be used as an educational tool prior to events when describing eclipse phenomena.

A map of the locations of LightSound devices that have been distributed for the 2023/2024 North American eclipses. Each pin on the map has contact information for each site. This map will continually be updated as devices are delivered and as devices are moved around for the 2024 eclipse.

Submit your LightSound eclipse photos, videos, and data!

The LightSound Team

A woman standing with eclipse glases on. She is wearing black pants, a purple long sleeve shirt with a blue puffer vest. She has long brown hair and her hand are in her pockets. She is looking up at the Sun during an event of the October 14, 2023 Annular Eclipse. There are many people in the background.

Allyson Bieryla

Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

A womne with curly, dirty blond hair is standing on a balcony with a telescope dome in the background. She has dark pants and a plaid, long sleeved shirt, standing with her arms crossed and a smile on her face.

Sóley Hyman

Graduate Student
University of Arizona

A headshot of a man with short, brown, curly hair. He is smiling and wearing a gray shirt and the background is tan.

Elliot Richards

Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

Profile image of a woman wearing a purple shirt with dark hair in a ponytail. She is holiding a color filter under a white light, demonstrating the use of filters.

Wanda Diaz Merced


Image of a man kneeling and smiling wearing a blue lab coat and glasses. He is next to a large, several foot high lamp demonstration.

Daniel Davis

Director of Lecture Demos
Harvard University

This project would not be possible without the funding support from the International Astronomical Union, the American Astronomical Society, the National Science Foundation, and the Simon's Foundation.

International Astronomical Union Office for Astronomy Development logo with the letter OAD surrounded by circular orbits.
American Astronomical Society logo with A A S around star.
National Science Foundation logo. Blue globe with NSF in white surrounded by gold rays around the globe.
Simon's Foundation logo.
Copyright © The LightSound Project 2023