Pitches with Prototypes: LumiGeek’s LED4DIY Shields

Arduino Computers & Mobile
Pitches with Prototypes: LumiGeek’s LED4DIY Shields


Number four in our daily line-up of Hardware Innovation Workshop prototype contest entries is the LumiGeek LED4DIY family of RGB LED control shields. LumiGeek recently made a big splash, online, for their part in the collaboration (with Autodesk engineers Arthur Harsuvanakit and Evan Atherton) that produced this beautiful one-off 3D-printed sound/light reactive speaker set:

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If you’re interested in the speakers themselves, this Instructable from Atherton explains how they were made; unfortunately not just any 3D printer will do, as the design exploits features available only on top-of-the-line multimaterial photopolymer jetting equipment. Still, it’s a fascinating preview of how this technology may change the design of manufactured objects.

LumiGeek, which provided the lighting electronics for the project, is developing a line of Arduino-compatible shields to control various kinds of LEDs, and has plans for a Kickstarter campaign to launch next month. Co-founders Joe Martin and John “Parts” Taylor have been developing custom LED display applications with artists for years.


“There is a major gap,” writes Taylor, “between the novice LED tinkerer and the EE that can tame addressable LED strip with Arduino. We address this market by lowering the barrier to entry, yet offering stunning results.”

The LumiGeek folks did not send us a video pitch, but this interview with Taylor from Nathan Hurst of Wired Design gives a peek at what the shields will be capable of. Taylor’s segment starts at 0:42, in case the embed doesn’t autoscan correctly for you:

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“LumiGeek’s yet-to-be-released product,” writes Hurst, “is a Bluetooth-programmable, Arduino-compatible microcontroller that allows the user to define the actions of an LED strip, or other visual output, based on an audio file; it’s real-time audio analysis paired with video-creation software.”

More information is available through the LumiGeek website, and in Hurst’s recent story for Wired Design.

Click here to register for the upcoming MAKE Hardware Innovation Workshop.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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