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Make An LED Zen Board #ArtTuesday

Make an LED Zen board. via instructables

One day I was perusing the internet and stumbled upon a video; Water Light Graffiti by Antonin Fourneau, created in the Digitalarti Artlab. When water is painted, sprayed or sponged on LEDs light up. This seemed like such a cool project, I was inspired to try to make my own; cheaper, easier, desktop version.

They way this works is that the one lead of the LED is separated from the power by a small gap. When you apply water, water forms a bridge that closes the circuit and lights the LEDs.

On their web page there is a link to another video where the artist discusses the process and prototypes he went through for this installation, however the video is in french (unfortunately, I didn’t understand a word of the video). I did however watch what he was doing and it seems like the working prototype was made using a printed circuit board, though one of the early prototypes was made with copper tape, which fit much better with my plan to make a cheap and easy version.

For my version, the materials were acquired inexpensively, from a dollar store and the LEDs and copper tape from Ebay. It is easy enough that you don’t even need any special skills or equiptment and you don’t even need to solder anything.

In one article I read about the Water Light Graffiti installation drew similarities between it and Buddha Boards upon which you can draw on with water and once the water evaporates the image fades. So I modelled my project after a desktop Buddha Board.

Full tutorial


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