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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Richmond, VA

    Lightbulb Easy-to-program LED Pixel Strip

    If you'll allow me to show off a bit, I've put together a project that I think might be of interest to the community. What I've made is a fully-programmable LED light strip.

    A video is the best explanation, so here we go:

    Edit: replaced old horrible video with new awesome video.

    It's like the LED strips that a lot of us put on our copters and airplanes now, except that each LED is a different "pixel" and it's color and brightness can be set individually. These colors are fully animatable, refreshing at 30 frames per second or higher, and by using a micro SD card for storage, I've got practically unlimited memory for creating very long and intricate patterns. There is an RC input for remote control pattern switching, along with analog buttons for configuring settings like brightness and current limiting.

    I'm considering home accent lighting as a possible application for this, in addition to RC, and I'm designing a weatherproof, contractor-friendly enclosure for the controller, to replace the shrink-wrapped version that I use for RC.

    A few other features:

    - although a single controller can drive 240 LEDs, multiple units can be linked together to run more complex patterns in synchronization
    - input is 8-18v
    - approx 3-4 amps max current draw, depending on input voltage and light patterns / brightness
    - software upgradeable via USB to support future features

    The second major part to this project is the design tools. This is still a work in progress, but I've written web-based converters to take an image file in, and convert each scan line into a "frame" of animation. I've been using this and Photoshop to design and test patterns pretty quickly. I'm working on something similar for inputting video files, and I'm written an online LED simulator, to test patterns instantly. My big plan for the future is to add a management layer on top of this to build up libraries of patterns that can be mixed and matched quickly.

    So what do you think? Any ideas for additional functionality? Anyone want one?
    Last edited by mrandy; 09-20-2014 at 03:13 PM.

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