Simple Multitasking for Arduino

Beyond Blink Without Delay If you’ve been building projects with Arduino-compatible microcontrollers for more than a few months, you’ve probably faced the challenge of orchestrating the timing of the processing functions for multiple switches, sensors, displays, LEDs, motors, etc. On your first simple projects, you probably got away with using one or more calls toContinue reading “Simple Multitasking for Arduino”

Logic Level Shifters for Driving LED Strips

This article will help you determine whether you need a logic level shifter circuit to reliably drive an addressable LED strip with your microcontroller unit (MCU) of choice. And after boring you with an explanation of why a level shifter may be necessary, I’ll provide some recommended options for implementation. Just to be clear, thisContinue reading “Logic Level Shifters for Driving LED Strips”

LEDs for Light Art – Part 4: LED Driver Circuits

This article describes hardware circuits, as part of a microcontroller-based lighting control system, that can be used to reliably and efficiently drive the various types of LEDs described in Part 1. Introduction This article starts with the basics of driving a single LED in a constant-voltage or constant-current mode, and then explores the options toContinue reading “LEDs for Light Art – Part 4: LED Driver Circuits”

LEDs for Light Art – Part 3: Lighting Techniques

This article describes a variety of lighting techniques that can be used to achieve captivating and beautiful effects , employing the LED types summarized in Part 1 and the optical elements covered in Part 2 of this series. . Introduction Some new terminology will be helpful in categorizing the different lighting techniques discussed in thisContinue reading “LEDs for Light Art – Part 3: Lighting Techniques”

LEDs for Light Art – Part 2: Optics

Part 1 of this article series presented an overview of the LED types most commonly used in art applications. Part 2 expands on that material with a discussion of LED optical characteristics and an overview of the additional optical elements most often used: diffusers, reflectors, and lenses. Introduction A discussion of LED optics requires aContinue reading “LEDs for Light Art – Part 2: Optics”

LEDs for Light Art – Part 1: LED Types

A vast array of LED products is available for a wide range of applications. When selecting LEDs and related components for an art application, a solid understanding of several key LED characteristics will help you find an optimal solution. This article describes the LED and LED subassembly types that are most commonly used in lightContinue reading “LEDs for Light Art – Part 1: LED Types”

First Project: Niloticus

My very first project was designing the lighting for a 40-foot long ceramic tile sculpture of a Nile crocodile, created by well-known local artist Peter Hazel for Burning Man 2019. It’s made from over 80,000 hand-made ceramic tiles, plus fused glass eyes, teeth, dorsal ridges, and tail fins. The artist’s goal was to individually backlight each fusedContinue reading “First Project: Niloticus”