Archive for the ‘LEDs’ Category

An Arduino-powered backlit Clemson Tiger Paw

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Most people support their school or favorite sports team by buying a shirt or tuning into games. Jacob Thompson, however, took things one step further and created his own Arduino-powered, backlit Clemson Tiger Paw.

Thompson’s “WallPaw,” as he calls it, uses an Arduino Uno to receive signals from an infrared remote and to pick up sounds with a small microphone. This information is passed on to an Arduino Mega, which controls a five-meter-long strip of WS2812 LEDs to provide lighting effects. (more…)

An interactive LED floor to get the dance party started

Monday, March 27th, 2017

If you want a light-up dance floor for your next wedding or other special event, you can rent one; however, that can be quite expensive. On the other hand, you and your hacker friends can always build one. How hard can that be?

Turns out, very hard. While it may be simple to get one translucent panel to illuminate with LEDs, this 17′ x 17′ interactive dance floor used 64 panels with four lighting cells in each, for a total of 256 lighting arrays and 7,680 RGBs arranged as 2,560 addressable pixels. (more…)

A cool infinity mirror-style bottle opener

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

In his quest to create “the coolest wall-mounted bottle opener in the entire world,” it would appear that YouTuber “Never Stop Seeking” has succeeded.

As seen below, the infinity mirror-style unit is made of plexiglass and two-way mirror film, and equipped with Arduino Uno-controlled RGB LED strips that are activated by a proximity sensor as you open a beer or soda. He even included a magnetic catch for his bottle caps!

Want to build one of your own? Good news, Never Stop Seeking plans on sharing more details along with a how-to video in the coming days. (more…)

Need desk lighting? How about 1,200+ LEDs?

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

After he’d just finished a project using RGB LEDs, Imgur user nolobot’s brother mentioned he needed a new computer desk. Most people would probably just let their brother buy one, others would make something out of wood, but nolobot instead decided to create something truly amazing using more than 1,200 WS2812 RGB LED modules, an Arduino Mega, aluminum extrusion, and translucent polycarbonate.

The Mega controls these LEDs with the FastLED library, which are sandwiched between a base piece of plywood and a strip of polycarbonate using custom spacers. This diffuses the light nicely, allowing for beautiful light animations directly on the desk’s surface. (more…)

Dot² isn’t your typical coffee table

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Coffee tables are useful for putting coffee, food, or perhaps way too much junk on, but it’s 2017—we can do better than that! Akshay Baweja certainly has at least with Dot², an interactive piece of furniture that can run animations, display lighting effects, and play old-school games.

The Arduino Mega-based table features a matrix of 296 LEDs that shine up through sections of diffused acrylic, and uses a grid of foam board strips to keep each light in a square. Dot² can be controlled either by a PC running GLEDIATOR software, or via a smartphone using a Bluetooth connection and its own custom app. (more…)

Interactive geodesic LED dome = extreme geometric fun!

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

We’ve all seen geodesic domes in one form or another, whether as a modern experiment, as housing from a bygone era, or perhaps as a gigantic structure in Orlando (technically a geodesic sphere). Jon Bumstead apparently wasn’t satisfied with current dome options, and instead created his own, integrating elements from programmable LED tables to make it interactive.

The resulting build is quite spectacular. Each triangular section able to be lit up with an RGB LED, and further information is output to five MIDI signals in order to produce sound. This means that up to five people can play the dome as an instrument simultaneously. If that wasn’t enough, the Arduino Uno-based dome is programmed to play a version of Simon or Pong, and can be set up to display a light show!

I constructed a geodesic dome consisting of 120 triangles with an LED and sensor at each triangle. Each LED can be addressed individually and each sensor is tuned specifically for a single triangle. The dome is programmed with an Arduino to light up and produce a MIDI signal depending on which triangle you place your hand.

(more…)

Control this Ohio home’s Christmas lights from the Internet

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

If you don’t want to bother putting up your own lights this year, you can just control Tom Hammond’s!

As seen on Good Morning America, Hammond recently put up a Christmas display that can be controlled via a simple online interface between the hours of 5pm and midnight (EST). The setup consists of an Arduino Mega along with a Raspberry Pi running Falcon Player, while the animations were created using xLights.

The website offers nine lighting options that anyone can select and play. Thanks to a webcam on Hammond’s property, the page even features a live stream that lets users see the animation they chose in real-time. However, due to the number of people trying to access it, the video is not always available. (more…)

An Arduino round word clock

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

After considering building a square word clock, Maker Roald Hendriks and his sister came up with something a bit more unique!

Clocks, being decorative, useful and easily hackable, have been targets for creative types, likely from when they were first invented. You’d think maybe all ideas for new clocks have been exhausted. Fortunately, human ingenuity never seems to run dry, and this latest device tells time using Arduino Uno-controlled LEDs.

Outer numbers on the modified IKEA PUGG wall clock illuminate to indicate the hour, while words on the inside represent the minutes. These minutes are literally spelled out in Dutch phrases reveal the particular time, but if you don’t speak the language, the position of the LEDs should give you some clue as to what is going on. (more…)

A room light controller with its own light display

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Hansi (aka “Natural Nerd”) wasn’t content simply controlling his room’s lighting, so he had his control box illuminate along with it!

In order to control lighting intensity, you could hook up a potentiometer directly, but Hansi decided to instead connect four potentiometers to an Arduino Nano to control an external light source. These four inputs are attached to analog pins on the Arduino, which control a strip of RGB LEDs inside of a partially translucent box. When the knobs are turned, the number of LEDs on display increase or decrease, in different colors depending on which it turned. An external light can then be controlled along with the beautiful controller display. (more…)

A giant, Arduino-powered scrolling LED sign costs $15/foot

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

If you’ve ever wanted your own Times Square-like zipper, albeit a little smaller, you’re in luck. That’s because Josh Levine has created a giant scrolling LED display costing around $15 per foot, which consists of an Arduino Uno, a power supply, and seven programmable NeoPixel strips. The Maker also used a few pieces of plywood with a couple of aluminum angles glued to the top and bottom to enhance its sturdiness and appearance.

Equipped with 2,688 RGB pixels, the 12-foot-long sign is capable of showing text at 80 frames per second. Aside from basic scrolling messages, other features include a countdown timer with lookup-based gamma correction, column-by-column color control, custom fonts, sprite graphics with animation, and more.

The build is so simple, that you should be able to figure it out from looking at the pictures. Stick the strips to something, add some power, connect the Arduino data out pins to the strips’ data in pins.

The secret sauce is in the software. You can read about the parallel processing technique used here.

Bigger is better, right? Levine chose this size for his ticker only because it was the longest thing that could make it down his staircase–plus 400-pixels-long gives a refresh rate of 80 frames per second, which is just fast enough for nice animations. That being said, the Maker does note that he’d love to one day build a 100-foot-long sign “if you could find him a long enough surface to mount it on.” Until then, you can see it in action below and read all about the project on its page.