This is a product to which I came to craft in my Digital Multimedia class. This project was to a point to be a solution to a long standing problem for me. This problem, is that when on a computer I use sound proof headphones and had the tendency to accidentally ignore my surroundings. So, with this project LED frame hanging above my computer screen when my door is knocked on or when people start talking behind me, the LED frame starts to flicker informing me that I need to be paying attention.

I understand that I am quite the novice when it comes to working with electronics. However, I will provide all the information I can to give an understanding of how I came to make this project. I will also point out issues that when I came down to finishing was not satisfied with and would change up when I decide to redo the project.

Note: If you find any problems throughout the Steps, being that either grammar, pictures, wording, etc, please feel free to inform me and I will fix the issues as I return to make adjustments.

Step 1: The Materials

- LED roll

(Location Bought) http://www.amazon.com/SUPERNIGHT-16-4ft-Waterproo...

(More Info) http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Lumex/SML-LX5...

- Frame

(Location Bought) http://www.amazon.com/Malden-Mondrian-Collage-Mul...

- Arduino Uno

(Location Bought) http://arduino.cc/en/Main/arduinoBoardUno

- Sound Sensor

(Location Bought) http://www.amazon.com/MODULE-IMPACT-SENSOR-HEADER...

(More Info) http://www.robotshop.com/en/parallax-sound-impact...

- Wiring, Electrical tape, Soddering Iron, Sodder

These can be purchased at your local hardware store.

- Arduino Uno - Wall outlet attachment (Recommended)

(Location) https://www.sparkfun.com/products/298

- Arduino Uno - 9 Volt Battery attachment

(Location) http://www.nexuscyber.com/9v-battery-clip-with-55mm21mm-plug?gclid=COeXo8v85r8CFaVZ7Aod0D0ARw

Step 2: Testing the LEDs

To begin you want to test the LED Strip and make sure that it works prior to doing any work on the project.

TESTING the LED Strip:

To do this you only need to take a 9-volt battery or similar source of power and connect the ground and negative wiring (provided on the LED Strip) to the respective terminals on the battery.

1. When this is done all the LED lights on the strip should be high lighted.

2. If the lights are only partially on I would recommend returning the lights and getting a new strip. Otherwise you can attempt to cut off the small portion of the strip where the lights start to go out and test the portion after that. (You will need to use your own wiring and touch the ground/neg with them to the respective terminals)

3. If the test fails again, repeat the process.

WARNING: Normally when you start to cut up the LED Strip you can not return it for another Strip, so unless you are quite sure that it is only a small portion of the Strip that is out I would HIGHLY recommend the return and replace.

Step 3: Testing the Sound Sensor + Mapping

To test the sound sensor you will need to bread board the project out. (A breadboard can be acquired at your local hardware store.)

1. To begin you need to upload the following code to your Arduino Uno;


#define LEDstrip 9

void setup()

pinMode(7,INPUT); //SIG of the Parallax Sound Impact Sensor connected to Digital Pin 7 pinMode(LEDstrip, OUTPUT);


//this function will make the LED dim once the Parallax Sound Impact Sensor sends a 1 signal, and then return to it’s original brightness.

void loop()


boolean soundstate = digitalRead(7);

if (soundstate == 1) {analogWrite(LEDstrip, 255);







2. Once done you will need to start connecting the Arduino Uno to the breadboard where the Sound Sensor will need to be located. The picture above will show you where and what to connect to.

3. When everything is connected you will need to provide the Arduino Uno with power. I tend to use a 9-volt battery for this purpose with a special Arduino Uno to 9-volt battery attachment. (This normally can be found at your local hardware store or on the Arduino's site)

4. Once powered up you can start to make noise. The sensor should have the built in light on it start to respond with the sound. The LED Strip should also respond by blinking on and off.

NOTE: I use the following code because I want to make a variation in the LED responses, the above code will have 'ALL' LEDs respond the same.

WARNING: You will need to keep the code on the Arduino Uno so do not reset the Arduino once finished. This is to make it easier when finishing up construction later on.


#define LEDstrip 9

#define LEDstrips 10 //This is to define a new point in the Arduino to tell the second LED group to respond.

void setup()


pinMode(7,INPUT); //SIG of the Parallax Sound Impact Sensor connected to Digital Pin 7 pinMode(LEDstrip, OUTPUT);

//this function will make the LED dim once the Parallax Sound Impact Sensor sends a 1 signal, and then return to it’s original brightness.

void loop()

boolean soundstate = digitalRead(7);
if (soundstate == 1) {analogWrite(LEDstrip, 255);



//This is the new command to delay one group of LEDs slightly more to give a different response

boolean soundstate = digitalRead(7);
if (soundstate == 1) {analogWrite(LEDstrips, 255);


else{ analogWrite(LEDstrip,0);




PROBLEMS: Currently the code makes it so that the LEDs are always on, and turn off when it responds to sound.

- To fix this issue replace in the code all (255)s with (0) and all (0)s with (255)

Step 4: The Mapping

First on the list to do is to take the desired Frame remove the backing and then measure the distance the see-through portion covers. This measurement will be used to decide how long you will cut strips from the LED Strip.

WARNING: (Some Frames do not have enough room between the glass and backing to house the LED Strips, you need to check this first upon buying or use another method of housing for the LEDs. A pinky fingers thickness is the most optimal.)

Note: Keep in mind there needs to be a small amount of extra room on the sides of the layout position, due to the later on addition of wiring to reconnect the LEDs, and then wiring to connect the LEDs to the Arduino Uno.

Step 5: Solder Time

Once you have mapped out the backing, you will need to cut Strips of LEDs from the LED Strip.

1. Cut smaller portions of wire and bend them into 'U' shapes, much like the picture above.

2. Once bent you still start to solder the links together. (NOTE: The amount of links you need to connect is the same as the amount of LED strips you are placing in the measured area of cover.)

- Here is a informative video for those that have never soldered before.

- WARNING: I do not own this content, this link is for learning purposes only. I also highly recommend looking more into their other videos, all of them are quite useful.

- Here is a link to their site for more information on soldering: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guide-excellen...

3. Once the links are soldered you will want to solder them to the LED Strip pieces. To do this you will need to peel back the protective covered over the Ground/Neg nodes on both ends of the LED strips.

4. Then attach the end points of the links to their respective nodes, I do each node link on different sides to keep from cluttering. However, you can do both links on one side to save room if you need to.

NOTE: You will want to Tug on the links once connected to make sure the soldering took hold and wont come apart.

Step 6: TEST Time!

This process is exactly like what you did for the bread board testing of the Sound Sensor.

1. You will need to recreate the bread board situation but instead of using the LED Strip, you will be using your new LED links to make sure everything is working correctly.

Step 7: Linking Up Your Finished LED Nodes

Once you complete the soldering of the LED strips together its time to continue on!

1. You will now need to solder longer length wiring from the end tips of your links to the Arduino Uno. (Make sure you give a small amount of slack just encase)

2. Once the soldering is complete you can then remove the plastic covering on the bottom of the LED Strips, under the plastic is the built-in adhesive to attach the LED Strips to your housing or Frame backing.

3. You will then want to use your electrical tape to safely hold in place your wiring in locations throughout the housing/Frame backing. This is to keep accidents from happening.

NOTE: You will want to Tug on the longer length of wiring to make sure the soldering took hold and wont come apart.

Step 8: More Soddering - Sound Sensor Addition!

After all is said in done... it finally is time to attach the Sound Sensor.

1. You will need to cut 3 lengths of wiring (The distance is determined by where you want to place the location of the Sound Sensor)

2. Once cut you will then need to solder the wiring to the Sound Sensor terminals

WARNING: I do not own the picture above. Due to poor quality photos on my part I borrowed this picture from the following Instructables;


Step 9: Finishing Up

With everything connected the following should help finish up the process:

1. Look over the layout and use the electrical tape or just tape in general to secure wiring in place.

2. If your Arduino Uno is loose in the project then you might want to decide on either screwing it down, tape, or if you really need to... glue it. (This hinders the ability to reuse the Ardunio for other projects if so)

3. Construct the project together. Leaving the Sound Sensor and its wiring out, you will need to feed the wiring to the location you want the Sound Sensor to sit. Once down you can secure it with whatever method you find optimal. (If you have not already you should place the ends of the wiring in their respective slots on the Arduino Uno.)

4. In Addition you will need to feed the Arduino Uno's wall outlet cord also out, to feed it to the wall.

NOTE: If you see any problems with this post please inform me and I will attempt to fix the issue asap.

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