Individually Addressable LED's

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WileE13
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Individually Addressable LED's

Post by WileE13 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:14 am

I've never worked with Individually Addressable LED lighting. All my lighting experience is with standard LED's or RGB/RGBW. Anyone got suggestions on where to start? Should I be using a DMX512 system? Is there another way? Any suggestions on where to get parts would be great.

Hoping to start a discussion. Did a search of ePlaya and didn't find much on the topic. It would be good to get a forum going on the subject.

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Traveller in Time
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Re: Individually Addressable LED's

Post by Traveller in Time » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:29 pm

Search arduino ws2812

The arduino is a microcontroller, used for the timing of the communication the ws2812 is an rgb led with driver latching the received serial input. Only after a break in communication the drivers will use the instruction to set their leds. You will need a smarter computer to program and send the color codes some 160 max at once on one string.

Also used for big TV screens :D
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maladroit
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Re: Individually Addressable LED's

Post by maladroit » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:41 pm

Most people at Burning Man with medium to large LED projects are using the PixelPusher (informal poll based on asking artists on playa what they're using).

There are cheaper and simpler ways, but they require perhaps an overwhelming amount of technical ability to get up to the same result possible with a PixelPusher and the associated expensive LED Lab app. If you can accept simpler patterns, small microcontrollers can do pretty well with rainbow fades and sequences.

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Sham
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Re: Individually Addressable LED's

Post by Sham » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:26 pm

I have nothing constructive to add, but I was laying under the large LED canopy of color changing lights and was absolutely fascinated as to how they did it. I had to assume that each bulb had it's own address.
Does anyone know if these are hand assembled or are they done in strings with consecutive addresses?

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Re: Individually Addressable LED's

Post by Traveller in Time » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:31 pm

OK, apparently most just buy assemble their art . . .

As far as I can see the pixelpusher is a dedicated microcontroller not unlike the arduino. The RGB LEDs are not mentioned but I guess they also use the WS2812 or similar, mounted on strips, the Chinese product.


I liked the cubes some years ago they used self soldered and programmed pic controllers with three LEDs and enclosed in pingpong balls.

@ Sham
The controllers use strings of LEDS each string gets a shifting instruction. Basically each led gets and shows a color then shifts it to the next. You can also just flush the entire string of colors and change to something else.
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some seeing eye
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Re: Individually Addressable LED's

Post by some seeing eye » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:34 pm

Sham wrote:I had to assume that each bulb had it's own address.
Does anyone know if these are hand assembled or are they done in strings with consecutive addresses?
Within a string, usually up to 5 meters, each LED has an address, so each string needs a simple attached controller, then all the controllers are coordinated.
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maladroit
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Re: Individually Addressable LED's

Post by maladroit » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:06 pm

Sham: that project is by Chris Schardt and uses PixelPushers and largely made of preassemble addressable strings. Chris is responsible for the LED Lab software so he's probably the PixelPusher user who can claim "I made this" the most :)

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BBadger
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Re: Individually Addressable LED's

Post by BBadger » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:27 pm

Depends on what you want to learn and the scale of your project. I prefer having manual control over the LEDs without some sort of premade app. Others For single or few strips, such as for a costume or bike, you can use something like a Teensy 3.x (an Arduino-type microcontroller with much better performance than standard Arduino ATMega controllers) and FastLED library (or OctoWS2811 lib). You'll be programming in C++ for that. You can also look into LEDscape + RGB-123 boards, which use the OpenPixelControl (OPC) protocol for controlling lights. You can use any system that outputs OPC data to control those lights; I use Javascript for that, but you can use something like Processing and Fadecandy.

There are some DMX hardware/software solutions around, but usually you'll be buying into a larger system and need to invest in their setup. I prefer using the solutions above, as they're cheaper and generally give me more control.

I would probably start with either a Teensy/Arduino setup, and Fadecandy if you're willing to do programming. Otherwise, you may need more pre-packaged solutions, maybe like that PixelPusher or some of the other systems.
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maladroit
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Re: Individually Addressable LED's

Post by maladroit » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:43 pm

I'll note that what I recommend to others is not what I do to myself, as I am masochistic about electronics projects and refuse to buy stuff that makes my life easier. For example, I spent ALL of Wednesday on the playa building a six-foot LED staff with 480 addressable LEDs and four 18650 cells, controlled by an ESP8266 module outputting to four individual spiral WS2812 strips and controlling the patterns and brightness over wifi using a self-hosted website based on javascript and websockets. Don't do this if you're a beginner, go get the premade thing.

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Traveller in Time
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Re: Individually Addressable LED's

Post by Traveller in Time » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:50 pm

maladroit wrote: . . . I am masochistic about electronics projects and refuse to buy stuff that makes my life easier. For example, I spent ALL of Wednesday on the playa building a six-foot LED staff . . .
Sounds great :D and somewhat familiar

I will have to work on the controller part, using OO calc sheets as source :wink:
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