This RGB LED matrix is designed to mimic the flickers of a swarm of fireflies.
The team gets the materials in the mail -- about 400 LEDs and a lot of ping pong balls!
The LEDs are SM16716 addressable RGB pixels.
Running the whole show is a RasPi.
Testing the LED strings before building the supporting structure.
An ATX power supply converts wall current to DC.
The board gets built, with the pixels inserted through holes in the plywood.
Meanwhile, ping pong balls are drilled so they can help diffuse the LEDs' light.
The ping-pong balls are stuck onto the board with adhesive.
The 6x4' LED matrix was built in modules which were combined in the final panel.
The completed matrix. The LEDs respond to external light sources before gradually synchronizing their flashes.
Twin Cities Maker recently participated in a local art festival, bringing with them three projects that had been created by members David Bryan, Riley Harrison, Cali Mastny, and Aaron Prust. Among them was Strange Attractors, a 6×4 panel of addressable RGB LEDs controlled by a Raspberry Pi microcontroller. The matrix is designed to mimic the flashes of fireflies, which tend to synch with other fireflies’ patterns, but also change their patterns based on ambient light. Visitors were invited to shine a flashlight on the matrix to see how the art reacts.
The project’s technical writeup hasn’t been published yet, but the team has posted its Python scripts in Dave’s GitHub Code Repository.