Globes of Fire!

The parts for the new controller have started trickling in, but until they all show up I’m a stuck there, so I’ve been thinking in other areas.

In the olden days – pre LED – I had a number of the 50 or 100 light globes in my display:

See the source image

I liked them for their intense burst of light, but the ones I had gradually died, and I haven’t found a replacement.

So… I got thinking again about options. When I built my Animated Snowman, I used WS2182 leds on the faces of 3d-printed dodecahedra. It worked fine, but the hand-cabling was a pain:


Using the acrylic lamp globes worked great, however. They are cheap, easy to get, and fully waterproof. I just needed a better way to get the LEDs in place.

One of the nice things about dodecahedra is that the faces are all pentagons. I remember a hack-a-day article a couple of years ago when somebody built one by soldering pc boards together, so I decided to do a design of that what that might look like:


The concept is that any face can hook to any face. You wire up the ground and VCC connections on all faces to give rigidity to the dodecahedron, and then wire up the DIN and DOUT connections from face to face in whatever pattern makes sense.

This design gives me 12 LEDs (well probably 11, since the top or bottom one will be used for support) in the space of about an inch, so that would easily work in the small acrylic balls (6”, or 4” if I can get them).

Of course, why do one LED per face when you can do 3:


Same concept as before; hook up DIN from another face, it will chain through all three LEDs and then head out through DOUT.

This board is roughly an inch in size, so the resulting dodecahedron will be around 2” in size. That will give us 33 LEDs and live up to the title of the post, but it may be overkill, which is why I’m going two versions. I’ll drill a hole through the 12th face and use a threaded rod and nuts to mount the DLE (Dodecahedral Light Engine).

I need to do some design cleanup and then send off for a run of these to see how they work.

So, what do you think ?