Controlling RGB Leds

A place to discuss all things involving power and technology (including cameras). Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self, sound systems and more.
Post Reply
aireq
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:17 pm
Burning Since: 2015
Camp Name: The Beach

Controlling RGB Leds

Post by aireq » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:28 pm

I'm going to be working on adding the lighting to our camp's art projects for BM 2018. I've used WS2811/WS2812 LED in previous years on my clothing and bike, but only with the cheap controllers you can get off amazon that have preset patterns.

This year I want to create my own patterns that compliment the geometry of the art project the lights will be attached too. So I want to create patterns where I have control over each individual LED.

I have minimal experience with Arduino, but I know how to program other languages so I'm fairly confident I could come up with a custom solution using a library like http://fastled.io/. However, I'd rather not reinvent the wheel if I don't have too.

What software is typically used to control RGB LEDs? Glediator looks interesting? Madrix looks expensive ;-)

Instead of using an Arduino, what about the T-1000S or K-1000C controllers that take an SD Card? Apparently, I can use some software called LEDEdit2017 to create patterns. Is there any documentation on the format of the files read by these controllers?

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5805
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Controlling RGB Leds

Post by BBadger » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:41 am

Supposedly the .led files that those controllers use are encrypted and only generated by that LEDEdit software, which is apparently not very good.

I do full custom software with my own lights because I want complete control and those other programs feel too limited.

Maybe you can use something like Processing for controlling yours, using something like a Fadecandy controller. It only allows 8 strips of 64 pixels though, but it might be enough.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
1durphul
Posts: 703
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:14 pm

Re: Controlling RGB Leds

Post by 1durphul » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:16 am

BBadger wrote:Supposedly the .led files that those controllers use are encrypted and only generated by that LEDEdit software, which is apparently not very good.

I do full custom software with my own lights because I want complete control and those other programs feel too limited.

Maybe you can use something like Processing for controlling yours, using something like a Fadecandy controller. It only allows 8 strips of 64 pixels though, but it might be enough.
I'd agree with BBadger, making your own custom software programs is the best way to go. The software itself is actually the not so much a difficult part (it is not particularly complex to push pixels read from a flat file through to a controller). The programming of shows is going to be the creatively interesting (and difficult) part. I've also used Processing before, it's effective if you're not solid on programming.

User avatar
Papa Bear
Posts: 364
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:36 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Astral Headwash
Location: Berthoud, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Controlling RGB Leds

Post by Papa Bear » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:54 pm

I wound up doing the LED programming for the art project I helped with last year. Like you, I had no Arduino experience, though I do have plenty of programming experience (including Java and some very rusty C/C++).

I found the FastLed library worked quite well for our purposes, in my case driven by a Teensy 3.5 controller. There are a number of GitHub repositories with sample animation code out there for the library, so you don't necessarily have to start from scratch.

Post Reply

Return to “Power & Electronics”