The two of us have no experience in Arduino, design, and engineering in general. In our Intro to Engineering Design class we wanted to find a simple S.I.D.E. project that would teach us the basics, but still be fun. Our teacher, Ms. Berbawy, had an example of a previous student who created an LED sign, but it had to be plugged into the wall. We were inspired by this project, but wanted to make the LED's battery powered.
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Step 1: Upload Code to Arduino Sketch
We followed the book Arduino Project Handbook by Mark Geddes to create our project. We downloaded and uploaded the PoLoLuLedStrip to the Arduino Sketch. We then adjusted the code to our project. We used 32 LEDs and connected them to pin 12.
Step 2: Use 9V Batteries to Power
The LED packaging explicitly states to only use a 5V battery, but when we tried that the lights were very dim. We used a 9V battery instead, and because the Arduino contains a 5V regulator, the extra voltage didn't do any damage and the lights were brighter.
Step 3: Design Box for Laser Cutting
We used Adobe Illustrator to design our box. The cutting lines are hairline red (RGB 255), raster images are black, and vector engraving lines are hairline blue (RGB 255).
Step 4: Attach LEDs to Arduino
We first soldered wires to the LED strip. Then we put the wires in their proper GPIO pins on the Arduino.
Step 5: Assemble Everything
Make sure all the wires are in the right spot and the battery is plugged in. Glue the acrylic logo to the box. We also created a curtain to put on the back of the box to help further illuminate the lights.