Adafruit’s Phillip Burgess posted this fantastic tutorial to their Learning System on how to use Raspberry Pi to paint with light. We’ve covered this technique before and it involves setting a long exposure on the camera and using moving light sources to “paint” within the frame. When you involve computer- or microcontroller-controlled LED strips in the process, you can get some astounding results. This project relies on a Raspberry Pi loaded up with Adafruit’s own distro, Occidentalis, which includes the necessary hardware SPI support for the LED strips.

Simply porting this project to Raspberry Pi wasn’t enough for Phillip, so he put another spin on it. Instead of a straight LED strip, he attached it around the circumference of a hula hoop and braced it with PVC pipe. He attached the rig to his trike and now he can ride the streets, painting with light: