Tron light show made with Arduino-controlled stepper motors

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is a research director at Institute for the Future, the founding editor-in-chief of Make magazine, the co-founder of Boing Boing, the editor-in-chief of Cool Tools.

248 Articles

By Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is a research director at Institute for the Future, the founding editor-in-chief of Make magazine, the co-founder of Boing Boing, the editor-in-chief of Cool Tools.

248 Articles


Kim Pimmel’s amazing effects created with a record turntable and some Arduino-controlled stepper motors.

I’ve been interested in taking my Light Study photo series and evolving them into motion pieces. I shot a lot of footage for a VJ gig for FITC San Francisco. So I edited together those stop motion sequences, mashed up some audio from the Tron Legacy trailers, and out came Light Drive.

The video is stop motion, so every frame is an individually shot photograph. Each photograph is a long exposure photo, with exposures reaching up to 20 seconds in some cases.

To control the lights, I used an Arduino controlled via bluetooth to drive a stepper motor. The stepper motor controls the movements of the lights remotely from Processing.

The light sources include cold cathode case lights, EL wire, lasers and more.

If you like this video, check out.

Light Studies