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Arduino + WiFi, Music Responsive LED Light Fixture

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This instructable gives instructions for constructing a Saiko5 WiFi enabled LED light fixture based on the Arduino hobbyist platform. It includes step-by-step instructions from board design to soldering to case integration, as well as instructions explaining how the software and firmware can be used to easily do music analysis in PureData and control many fixtures simultaneously.



Parts and complete fixtures can be found at http://saikoled.com along with additional media of the fixtures in action at http://saikoled.com/applications/.

We have also implemented open-source, high quality tools to provide powerful features missing in other LED light fixtures. Due to the open source nature of our tools, we encourage individuals using the Saiko5 LED Light Fixture to share their projects back with the community.
  • Open-source example python server for controlling the lights using a locally running Open Sound Control server.
  • Open-source example python GUI for light control written using wxpython.
  • Open-source code for use with the powerful music analysis system, PureData which allows for easy music analysis in realtime, and communication with a locally running python server over Open Sound Control.

What we'd be really excited to see come of this is to be able to sell these systems on a hobbyist website like Sparkfun Electronics. They also sell the Arduino system, which has many sensor modules. Imagine how awesome it would be to have this connected up to, I don't know, a geiger counter and a microphone so you can have it flash red when it detects radiation, and then flash blue once it hears screams. Or maybe just have it flash red and blue on a curtain if a video camera detects motion.

Okay, maybe those are stupid ideas. But that's sort of the point. As a designer, I may be good at designing hardware, or perhaps someone else is good at writing software, but any one person can only have so many ideas on their own. We'd be thrilled to see people buy these, come up with awesome new uses for them by integrating them into their own projects, and then publish the code so that we can build up our cumulative open-source expertise. I'd love to see the day where there are a dozen or even a hundred individual hobbyists who've done crazy cool stuff with this light (or others like it) and published it online to inspire the rest of us! So, in that spirit, please let us know if you are psyched about getting involved in participating! We have lots of ideas, but I'm sure many of you have way cooler ones than me =)

You can also check out media and information on the places where this system has been used as a part of the Saiko5 WiFi LED Light Fixture in the Installations and Applications section. So far, it's been made to work with Arduino, the amazing Leaf Labs Maple Board, a higher processing power hobbyist board designed to be pin compatible with the Arduino, and the folks at Leaf Labs managed to make their Maple Board as well as the Arduino control the Saiko5 WiFi LED Light Fixture using an entirely wireless interface by using the async_labs WiShield as a basis and then improving stability. Check out the Light Shield and Firmware for more information about those code improvements, as well as our custom board for WiFi and power control.

Brian Neltner, R.J. Ryan, and Perry Hung also wrote software that allows a user to take advantage of the aubio library, a sweet sound analysis suite usable in C, Python, PureData, and other languages for analyzing realtime or pre-recorded music and extracting relevant features from the sound such as the beats, transients, and other cool stuff! Check out the Software page for more information about the control software.
 
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Charlie133 years ago
How much would you say this cost you in total?
Keeay Charlie133 years ago
I want to hear the answer to this one too. If it's relatively cheap, I will totally be making some of these.
neltnerb (author)  Keeay3 years ago
Hi,

So I'm selling assembled boards with machined cases and such, but it's probably outside of the price range of most hobbyists. However, if you're game for actually going through the instructable and doing things like sourcing your own parts and finding an alternative way to do the case, you can do it for fairly cheap.

I'm selling bare boards for just that reason on the website, $15 and $10 for the LED board and the wifi board respectively. You can also find digikey bills of materials that you can upload to digikey to trivially get a complete parts list. There are only a handful of parts that you have to source from other suppliers (LEDs from philips, optics from philips, wifi module and antenna from microchip direct).

When I am building 20 of these fixtures, and I don't build the case or include labor costs for assembling anything, the cost is $87 for the LED board (including board, LEDs, and optics, by far the most expensive part), and if you didn't want optics you could drop the component cost by $12. The cases are expensive, so if you can do your own machining, or have access to your own waterjet, you can definitely do a lot better than the prices I was able to get for custom machining since I no longer have access to free machine shops =/

As for the wifi board, if you are willing to hack together a way to route the PWM signals up to the light, and also get a separate 24VDC supply for the LED board and power the arduino/maple/whatever via a separate supply (the arduino melts if you put on 24VDC, their onboard regulator can't handle linear regulation down by that amount), you can actually use the original WiShield which is only $60. I have no clue how he makes them for that cheap, but that's no reason not to take advantage. You'll find that if you make them yourself, you can source components for 20+ for around $54 including the board, which is practically the same as the cost of an assembled WiShield. Personally, I think that for this application it's better to use the Light Shield because honestly hacking together the connection for the PWM and dealing with buying two power supplies instead of one overcomes the cost difference and is more convenient.

In any case, if you have more money than time, you can also just buy assembled boards. I'm going to be putting up a hacker discount so that people who aren't doing professional lighting installations can get them for cheaper, but I do know that I probably won't be able to lower the cost on the light shield by much since my cost spreadsheet says that it costs me around $90 to make them. The LED board I would be willing to provide cheaper as a bit of a community service though.

They take me a great deal of time to put together, and I really want to put together a bit of an LED war chest so that I can do my *next* project without investing $12k of my own cash... but I expect to release a coupon for 25% off of the assembled LED boards so that people who want to play around with high power LEDs but don't need the rest of the support equipment can do it.

Feel free to shoot me an email at neltnerb@saikoled.com or join the announce mailing list if you want to be sure to get notice when I do that.

As for my next project, I want to take three of the ledengin 40W RGBW LEDs and incorporate them into my same case. It'll be a lot more expensive, but three times as bright! Heat sinking though... it's a tricky one for sure =)
thanks for the info. this may have to go on a wish list
Relative to some things, maybe.   But I don't think these are priced within casual hobbyist range.

Check for yourself.

They are very pretty, though.  This video's just entrancing.
ah well a casual hobbyist is exactly what I am haha
neltnerb (author)  GreaterThanZero3 years ago
Hihi,

I responded to the comment a bit higher. Not sure if you get a notification when I respond to other emails in a thread you commented on =)

Brian
Nice! I didn't get an automatic notification, so I do appreciate the heads up. Your reply was thorough and informative, and I would have regretted missing it.
This is really incredible. Using light to enhance sound is a huge interest of mine. I do the old 60s liquid light shows for different events with some self made lighting equipment as well the overhead and chemicals.
also there is very clearly a hookah in one of your videos on your website, might dis/encourage some customers but thought you should know its visible.
vishalapr2 years ago
Best most innovative project I have ever seen!
neltnerb (author) 3 years ago
Hi,

I wanted to update anyone who might be reading with news that there is now a 25% off coupon for purchasing the kits, boards, and modules to make these lights, as well as for complete assembled lights.

Use coupon code "hobbyist123" inside of google checkout!

Best wishes,
Brian
farzadbayan3 years ago
Big title !
neltnerb (author)  farzadbayan3 years ago
yea, you're right. I tried making it shorter =)

thanks!
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