While time is continuous, most clocks display the time in a discrete way; even 'analogue clocks' often move their hands only once a second. In this instructable, I will show how to build a clock that shows the time continuously by smoothly cycling though the light spectrum. To allow for reading the clock with different levels of precision, we make multiple light cubes: one for which a second will have been passed after each cycle, one for a cycle of a minute, one for hour, one for day and one for a week.

Although it might take some time to learn reading this clock, it certainly is a much more colourful way of finding out the current time!

Step 1: Materials

For this light spectrum clock you'll need:
  • Arduino (I used a Nano but most will work; the wiring on at least the Nano, Uno and Duemilanove will be the same)
  • TLC5940 PWM 16 channel (on ebay for around 1,50 pound or sparkfun for 4 pound each)
  • DS1307 Real Time Clock module (sparkfun: 15 dollars) or one with even more precision (this one will be off one minute each week)
  • 5 RGB LEDs, common anode (cheap on ebay if you buy a lot; I bought diffuse LEDs, but I don't think it makes a huge difference)
  • Empty PCB or breadboard, some resistors (see Electronics), dip sockets, wires, etc.
  • Foamboard (white, you won't need a lot) and glue
  • Matte drafting film (diffuse foil; you won't need a lot)
  • Some wood and nails for the frame
  • USB-charger (or power by your computer; the RTC module will keep on counting if you turn off the computer)
If you shop economically, 35 pounds / 55 dollars will certainly be enough for the materials and a beer afterwards.
What type of resistors did you use?
Hi,<br> <br> As mentioned in the text: &quot;R1 is a pull-up resistor and has to be high (10kOhm or more), R2 sets the maximum amount of current for all the LEDs (typically around 2kOhm; test with a LED and power source before you start soldering).&quot;<br> I think I used 27kOhm for R1 and 1.2kOhm for R2.<br> <br> You can find more information in the TLC5940&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tlc5940.pdf" rel="nofollow">datasheet</a>, both resistors are there because of that chip.
Very well done!!! :-) <br> <br>I had the same idea, but never gotten in to it to build one. My design just uses hh:mm:ss and non-fading colors, better for readability, but worse for originality.
Very nice, I love new ways to tell time, this would look great with my nixie tube clock!
This is gorgeous. A very original clock. :)

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