My first kit – the Dodecahedral Light Engine – has been selling about as well as I expected a very hard to construct project with limited usages to sell, which is not very well. I primarily did it because I was going to do them anyway for my decoration project and wanted a project I could learn on.
I’ve just started working on my second kit, which is going to be a lot easier to build, cheaper, and more widely useful.
One of my favorite displays is a “tree of lights”, which is a tree with custom LED ornaments on it:
The ornaments are made of small sheets of plexiglass with high-power LEDs inserted into the holes, wired up, and waterproofed.
They are really bright; note in the photo that all of the dim lights are normal brightness LEDs, and even at that level the ornaments overpower the camera sensor. They are bright enough that – and I am not making this up – they cast a shadow about 50 feet away when they were at full brightness, so I dialed them back a little in brightness.
These ones are driven directly from 120VAC as that is what the controller provides.
What I want from this project.
- A fun, easy-to-assembly ornament
- The ability to run off of 5V or 12V (*maybe* 120VAC with a big disclaimer that you shouldn’t really do it)
- Tunable brightness
- The ability to drive them as WS2811 nodes (see my WS2811 expander posts…)
- A frame/armature that is easy to produce automatically (the originals were done with a 5mm end mill in a drill press and took a *long* time).