Hackathonukah is a 25 hour technology event that celebrates light, programming, hardware, and technology in NYC. Come out and build cool projects in an inclusive atmosphere of all types of engineers and developers from the NYC tech community right before the holidays!

The theme of our challenge is smart / connected lighting and the Internet of Things, as inspired by Hanukkah, the festival of lights. Light bulbs and electricity were the first inventions that brought mankind into the modern world. Until recently, people have interacted with lights in largely the same way, flipping switches on or off to turn them on or off. Devices like the clapper, dimmer switches, and remote controlled lighting have built on this user interface but haven’t truly revolutionized it. At Hackathonukah, we challenge our participants to creatively think through what it would mean to control light in a novel way.

Available Loaner Hardware:

  1. Philips Hue - developer kits
  2. SmartThings - hubs and sensors
  3. Microsoft - Kinect for Windows sensors
  4. Thalmic - Myo EMG armbands
  5. LIFX - wifi-connected bulbs
  6. Interaxon - Muse brain sensing headband
  7. Spark - Spark Core wifi enabled chip (and some available wires, breadboards, and analog sensors)
  8. MeU - wearable LED panels

Sponsored Services and API’s:

  1. Digital Ocean hosting
  2. Transloadit file upload/processing tools

You may bring any lower level hardware components (sensors, chips, etc.) to use with Cores and integrate it into your project as long as the organizers approve it beforehand (to maintain fairness). Requests must be submitted by Thursday, December 11th at 11:59 PM EST.

The winners will be able to choose from the following:

Four (4) Philips Hue Starter Kits
Three (3) SmartThings Starter Kits
Twelve (12) LIFX bulbs
Ten (10) Microsoft Kinect Sensors
Four (4) Myo sensors
Five (5) Maker Kits w/ Core


Not an experienced developer? Beginners are encouraged to attend our tech crash course that will dive into the basics of programming/hardware hacking and have them build a project of their own.

If you're interested in participating sign up on Eventbrite and like us on Facebook!

We want to thank our current sponsors: New York Code + Design Academy, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Keen Home, Microsoft Kinect, Thalmic Labs, Transloadit, LIFX, Digital Ocean, Muse,, and MeU for providing cool hardware and monetary support to make this event awesome.


  • Participants: Individuals (18 or over, minors w/ parental consent), Teams of five or fewer.


Your project should:

  • Toggle the state of “smart lights” with a simple and intuitive user experience,
  • Utilize light in new and creative ways using cutting edge hardware,
  • Control lights using inputs from across the Internet, and/or
  • Light it up :-).

Note: We’re not requiring that projects utilize smart lighting hardware specifically; however we do want the concept to include light as a key aspect.

Hackathon Sponsors


First Place

Each member of the winning team will receive three (3) hardware "gifts" and three (3) months of the Transloadit Startup Plan.

Second Place

Each member of the second place team will receive two (2) hardware "gifts".

Third Place

Each member of the third place team will receive one (1) hardware "gift".

Fourth Place

Each member of the fourth place team will receive one (1) hardware "gift".

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Michael Gold

Michael Gold

Andrew Mager

Andrew Mager

Jason Saltzman

Jason Saltzman
Alley NYC / Entrepreneur

Judging Criteria

  • Technical Accomplishment (35%)
    How complex is your project / code? How functional is your project (relative to concept)? Did you integrate multiple devices / API’s?
  • Creativity (30%)
    How well does your concept relate to the theme? How novel is your concept?
  • Utilization of tools available (20%)
    Did you utilize the hardware / API’s available in an interesting way?
  • Aesthetic (10%)
    How aesthetically appealing is your project?
  • Presentation (5%)
    How well did you present your project?

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