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Huge LED globe becomes Halloween helmet

Arduino TeamNovember 1st, 2022

Some Halloween costumes are creepy, others are racy, and a few, like this one, are just plain cool. LEDs have been common since the 1960s, but they can still stand out when done well. As it turns out, one way to achieve that is by arranging 378 of them around a big globe and wearing that globe on your head like Redditor HGRDOG14 did for Halloween this year.

We’re hesitant to call this a “Halloween mask” because of its sheer size, but “enormous glowing Halloween helmet” doesn’t have the same ring to it. HGRDOG14’s creation started as a 24” beach ball. They then covered that in papier mâché to create a rigid shell and removed the original beach ball. After that, they covered the papier mâché sphere in strips of WS2812B individually addressable RGB LEDs. Those strips have 30cm spacing between LEDs and HGRDOG14 staggered each longitudinal strip in order to arrange the LEDs in the pattern you see.

Every one of those 378 LEDs got a 3D-printed hexagonal cap to diffuse the light. An Arduino Nano controls all of the LEDs as a single strip with one data pin, though power comes from three separate battery packs that are necessary to handle the current at full brightness. A 16-button keypad lets HGRDOG14 switch between different animations and effects created using the FastLED library. 13 of those buttons correspond to different effects, while buttons 15 and 16 adjust the LED brightness (button 14 is unused).

When turned on and running animations, this Globe Head is quite a thing. HGRDOG14 omitted two hexagons on the front for eye holes and there is a seam on the back, but otherwise it is an unbroken sphere of blinky LED goodness. It’s great for Halloween, but is also perfect for EDM concerts the rest of the year. You can see it in action here.