Glowing Christmas snowflake sculpture featuring lots of #NeoPixels!


Thanks to nsted for sending in his beautiful sculpture project as a blog tip! Check out more info on the full build at hackaday.io.

I was contracted by F-Minus Studio to develop some filler LEDs to even out the light in their 20 foot illuminated Christmas Snowflake Sculpture. Touch-reactive Sensacell LED panels were used as the foundation. The filler LEDs needed to respond to user interaction with neighbouring panels, mimicking their lighting effects.

I chose Adafruit NeoPixels as the filler because they are individually addressable and easy to use (see edges of sculpture in sidebar photos). 70 meters of Neopixels in 28 addressable strips are controlled from an Arduino Mega/Due combo (see photo in sidebar). The controller talks over RS-485 to the Sensacells, using their API to request sensor states. A big lookup table associates NeoPixels with neighbouring sensors. The colors (both idle & triggered state) are set by external dials.

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