IKEA desks are DIY-er favorites. Take this IKEA Gallant desk for instance. The desk comes with a frosted class top, and where there’s frosted glass, cool LED effects are not far behind. The desk monitors HTTP requests and illuminates LEDs when a new chat or email message arrives.
Each light is individually addressable so plenty of illuminated patterns are possible. 8 LED modules are connected via a USB controller to the desktop. A node.js web server listens for incoming HTTP requests and connects to Growl ( a program which manages social notifications). The instructions detail the process of implementing the various hardware and software components of this project.