Intro: LED Painting
Have you ever looked around your house and thought "These walls look so plain and simple." Or are you an artist who wants to bring their artworks to the next level? Don't you worry, I have got a answer for you, what about adding some light to the painting to bring out the best in your artwork. If you are really bad at art, well don't worry as this will work with any canvas, even if it just an empty one or one you bought from the store. But why stop there, when you could control the LEDs. So by adding few more steps to this project, you can even interact with the painting.
So why wouldn't you take your art to the next level and add some LEDs to it.
Materials you will need for this projec:
-Different colors of paint
- Number of white LEDs(the number depends on what the painting is and where you want the LEDs), for this project I needed 6 LEDs
-A coin battery
-a coin battery
Tools you will need for this project:
-Something to poke holes with
-Hot glue gun
Step 1: Paint Your Scene
For my painting, I chose to paint a dark street, which then would be lid up with the LED's added later on the project. My canvas was an oId one so the blue and the access green on the sides makes this step look a bit confusing, but it is just the old painting. This painting tookme few hours to do as I wanted the forest to be as realistic as it can be, and in the end it took me the longest to paint. After I was done with the road, the forest and the base of the sky, I added details to the painting like the moon and the stars, I added some accents to the trees. After I was done with everything, and when everything was dry, I added the streetlamps.
Some difficulties I found with painting was that sometimes the paint smeared as I moved my hand around the painting, but it was easy to fix. If the paint was wet, you can just wipe it off, but if it is partly dry alredy, just wait for it to fully dry and paint over the area.
Step 2: Adding and Connecting the LEDs
When the painting is finished and fully dry, the next step is to add the LEDs to the painting.
You will need to mark the places of where you want the LEDs on the back of the painting, but as I was done with the first hole in the painting, the painting side had this small excess tiny bump on the front of it. I fixed this problem by poking the holes from the front of the painting, which ended up looking a lot nicer. One thing you want to watch out for it that in any step of this project, do not put weight on the painting when it is facing up. I made this mistake when I was supporting my hand to punch a hole in the painting, and after I lifted my elbow up, there was a quite large "dent" in the paintingwhich can not be fixed.
After you have punched the holes, you have to add the LEDs into the painting. After I added all six of them, I bent the positive and thenegative legs so that the positives were bent towards the sides of the painting and all of the negative legs were pointing towards the middle of the painting. I connected all of the negative legs of the LEDs with a long about half a meter long metal wire. To be sure that the wire would not disconnect from the legs, I taped the wire and the legs together with some copper tape. After you have connected all of the negatives together, connect one side of the wire to the battery. As the negatives formed kind of like an upside down "V" shape the left side of the "V" would be the last connected LED. When I connected the last LED to the chain of negatives, i cut the rest of the wire off because it would not be needed anymore as it is connected to a positive lge which will be connected to the positive side of the battery, which will complete the circuit. Then comes the harder portion of the project; connecting all the positives to the seperate buttons. You need six different lenght wire pieces depending on the painting. For each one of the positive legs, you need to connect the different wire pieces to each positive leg, and make sure it doesnt disconnect.
Step 3: Connecting the Positives to the Switch
First thing you have to do is to make the switch. This is pretty simple and you will only need two things for this; cardboard(the thinner the better) and copper tape. First start off by measuring the side of your painting and cut a piece that is twice the thickness of the side of your painting. The lenght of the piece depends on how many LEDs you want to connect to it. For my project, I needed six buttons/switches. After the cardboard piece is cut out, bend it in half so that each side if equal. On one of the sides tape down a long strip of the copper tape that starts at one end and ends at the other. For the other side, tape down six individual pieces that are not connected. Cut only this side of the carboard so that you have slits between each one of your pieces of copper tape. To connect the positive wires to the button, you will need to make holes on the bottom part(the part that will be glued onto the painting) so that the wire fits through to connect to the small piece of copper tape. When the wires are through, connect them to the button with small piece of more copper tape. This has to be repeated for each one of the wires. Then to complete the circuit, you have to add a small piece of wire to the yellow part(shown in the picture) which is connected to the battery. Then you take this wire piece and copper tape it on the beginning part of the button. This wire does not have to go all the way across, it just has to be connected to the button.
Step 4: Final Touches
The piece is pretty much done now, it is important to check that each of the wires are connected well and that the LEDs work.The most important thing to remember is to not let the wires touch each other, this disrupts the circuit and then some of the lights will not work. So to make sure the wires do not touch, it is easy to bend them into different shapes and then just tape them down to the wanted position.
Step 5: Enjoy the Painting
Now you are done with your painting, hang it up and light up your house!