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.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.