This is a really cool project from Adafruit customer Graham Perks. Full tutorial here!
For driving an array of LEDs with a Valentine’s message.
Currently this is configured for a 5×5 array of pixels.
I used Adafruit’s RGB Pixels which have a WS2801 driving them.
There’s a class (LEDFader) here which wraps the WS2801 library and provides the ability to animate pixel color changes, which makes for a smoother color flow. Rather than the pixel snapping from color to color, you can specify a duration to setPixelColor over which the pixel’s color will animate.
For the hardware, I followed http://www.instructables.com/id/Yet-Another-Daft-Punk-Coffee-TableDisplay/#step0, though of course I replaced the individual LEDs with the Pixels. I also thickened the box, by 3cm; this added a hidden back area with space for the wiring and arduino.
I ordered a translucent cover from Blick art materials (failed to find anything locally). http://www.dickblick.com/products/grafix-drafting-film/. I found the 2-sided version of this better at hiding the LEDs within, there’s more blurring going on.
Featured Adafruit Products!
12mm Diffused Thin Digital RGB LED Pixels (Strand of 25) – WS2801 – RGB Pixels are digitally-controllable lights you can set to any color, or animate. Each RGB LED and controller chip is molded into a ‘dot’ of silicone. The dots are weatherproof and rugged. There are four flanges molded in so that you can ‘push’ them into a 12mm drill hole in any material up to 1.5mm/0.06″ thick. They’re typically used to make outdoor signs. We also have flat-backed pixels that are essentially the same, but are not as long and thin. Read more.
5V 2A (2000mA) switching power supply – UL Listed – Need a lot of 5V power? This switching supply gives a clean regulated 5V output at up to 2000mA. 110 or 240 input, so it works in any country. The plugs are “US 2-prong” style so you may need a plug adapter, but you can pick one up at any hardware store for a $1 or so.
Happy Valentine’s Day from Adafruit! Today we are highlighting our favorite heart-shaped electronics projects. We have lots of excellent projects to let your loved one know that you care. Be sure to check out our gift guide as well!