In 2010 we built the Illuminatrix which was featured on the MAKE blog. This was a 4′ x 4′ wall of LEDs showing hundreds of animations created by people from around the world at the Burning Man festival, you can still see its animations here

This year we’ve gone bigger, and spherical! We’re building an 18′ geodesic dome with hundreds of LEDs and a beautiful skin to create a surface of light to surround and encompass the viewer.

Once again users can contribute to the artwork by creating animations using JavaScript code on our website. We’re then going to run your JavaScript code to produce the animations on the playa, but how are we going to achieve this?

The first step was to get the JavaScript running on something a little less power hungry than a PC or laptop. So we’ve opted for a Raspberry Pi upon which we’ll run NodeJS to execute the JavaScript you write. We then send the output of your scripts over serial using node-serialport to an Arduino to control our WS2811 LED strings.

We’ve detailed the full setup on our blog ( and will continue to cover the build process for the dome there. We’re still fundraising too, so if you want to contribute please do so at the IndieGoGo campaign at to win our undying love and affection!


Posted by: Ben Delarre | Wednesday June 12th, 2013 4:25 PM

Bio: I'm a long time programmer, hacker, maker and Burner. Always got a project on. Originally from the UK I now live in sunny California where I work on electronics related projects and write software for a company in the electronics industry.A few years ago I built CircuitBee, an online schematic renderer which Make were kind enough to help promote at the time.This is my first time fundraising for a project so I could use all the help I can get.

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