Enginursday: Building Large LED Projects

In conjunction with our seventh annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition, SparkFun recently unveiled its first ever retail space! Leading up to the event, several SparkFun employees took on the task of breathing new life into older projects, or creating new projects altogether. One such project was the CandyBar.

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The CandyBar in the background, along with our newly revamped GPS Wall Clock.

At 46 feet of illuminated fun, the CandyBar takes the LED strip to a whole new level. It uses eight meters of addressable LED strips, controlled with a FadeCandy and a Raspberry Pi B+ running the FadeCandy Server. Power and signals are sent out across the bar using custom PCBs, a 24V/250W power supply, and many feet of Ethernet cables. The patterns output by the extra long strip are created by passing various images through Processing and having the colors of the images sampled and sent to the corresponding LED. The real beauty of this project is that, because the strip can be controlled through a server, almost any Internet-connected device can potentially control the colors and patterns.

The build of the CandyBar was documented along the way, and we have gathered all that content and written a tutorial to help others who may want to build similarly large LED installations. The tutorial can be found at the link below.


Building Large LED Installations

July 16, 2015

Learn what it takes to build large LED installations from planning to power requirements to execution.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them here or in the tutorial’s comments section. And, if you’re in the Boulder, CO, area, stop on in and check out the SparkFun Retail Emporium and all the dazzling projects it has to offer.

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