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An old-school “neon” sign made with LEDs

Arduino TeamNovember 5th, 2020

Can you make an Arduino-controlled neon sign? While certainly possible, such a setup would involve working with rather high voltages, and the skill to shape glass tubing. As an easier alternative, Max Danilin (who also goes by “gabbapeople”) created an animated pub display using lengths of LED strips made to look like old-school neon tubes.

Although such tubes don’t quite have the same glow as their true neon counterparts, shaping segments was a matter of arranging them on a wooden backing with nails for support. Everything is powered by an Arduino Uno, programmed using the XOD IDE. This activates different LED segments via a pair of eight-channel MOSFET switch arrays.

In action, the word “SALOON” lights up, and a picture of a cowgirl winks and lifts her drink. More details on this impressive project can be found in Danilin’s Instructables post.