Tag Archives: LED

iPad-Programmable LED Wall

Greg Friedland of San Francisco, CA, wrote in with his 32-square-foot LED matrix.

The lights in the Aurora consist of a grid of 544 RGB LEDs capable of ~16 million colors attached to a 4′ by 8′ wood board. The LEDs are controlled by a microcontroller, which is in turn controlled by a program running on a laptop. The computer is the brain of the system, being responsible for creating the graphics that appear on the wall, and the microcontroller relays the messages to the LEDs. The PC software connects to software running on an iPad, which allows interaction with the moving patterns. Also, the Aurora has a mode where the builtin programs respond to music, bouncing and flashing with the beat, turning it into a VJ of sorts.

Glowback: Arduino-Powered Clay Sculpture

Look at this nice clay sculpture by Ben Hollis and Eva Funderburgh who chose an unusual material to house their Arduino in. The porcelain gives off a soft glow in staggered rhythms provided by the super bright LEDs underneath the nodules.

Arduino is used more and more by arts and design projects to implement some physical computing applications. It’s easy and intuitive way of programming microcontrollers is a welcomed opportunity for non programmers to model some physical enabled applications. You  can light some multicolor LEDs, read out sensor values of all kinds and control all sorts of actuators, such as stepper motors, brushless motors, linear motors and many more.

See Ben Hollis’ site for full documentation.

DeskLights – Ambient Notification

Watch this amazing project by Michael LaGrasta, who brought his DeskLights ambient notification system to Maker Faire Bay Area this year. He uses an Arduino Uno Ethernet and 160 RGB LEDs, which can change the color according to notifications received over the network. With the use of flashing patterns, light location and color he visualizes incoming email, calendar alerts.

Weekend Projects Gets Extreme With LED Throwies!

A LED-Throwie is a LED mounted on a coin cell battery in combination with some sort of a glueing material, such as a magnet for throwing it on metal. LED-Throwies were invented by the Graffiti Research Lab (GRL) aroung 2005, as a destruction free variant of a public lightning graphity. LED-Throwies are used mainly for street art or as light effects for events. There are no limitations for endless applications on public statues, buildings, bridges or transport.

Watch this cool project where artists have taken the concept and created indestructible waterproof lanterns, filled a hundred helium balloons and tethered them all together to create an etheral, floating sculpture, and connected them with Integrated Circuits that blink Morse code.

Low Power RGB Night Light


Michael of n0m1 Design built this Arduino-controlled night light as a Mother’s Day gift.

A few years back I made a motion sensitive night light as a Mother’s day gift and while it worked pretty well it really chewed out the batteries. And as with all devices that eat batteries it eventually fell out of use. The standby current was around 4 mA due to the common LM324 opamp that was used to amplify the PIR motion sensor signal. The original enclosure was CNC milled from a bit of re-purposed apple which had a former life as a guitar body I built as a child.

Code and schematics on the project page.


Special Issue: LED-Throwies

Its time for a special issue about LED-Throwies, because i like this simple and illuminated concept so much! A LED-Throwie is a LED mounted on a coin cell battery in combination with some sort of a glueing material, such as a magnet for throwing it on metal. LED-Throwies were invented by the Graffiti Research Lab (GRL), as a destruction free variant of a lightning graphity. LED-Throwies are used mainly for street art or as light effects for events. There are no limitations for endless applications on public statues, buildings, bridges or transport.


100.000 LEDs on Tokyo River = amazing

This weekend Panasonic was sending 100.000 EVERLED light bulbs down the Sumida River in central Tokyo, which made the river shimmer in an amazing shade of blue! The reason was that Panasonic started the Tokyo Hotaru (= firefly) festival by sending these 100K LEDs down the river, in order to look like fireflies as well as to remember the Japanese tradition of floating candles on the water. Panasonic assured that all the candles run on solar power gathered during the daylight and all/most of the LEDs are being catched by a fishernet afterwards. Avoid eating blue glowing fish in Tokyo these days 😉