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How to make a bar spectrum analyzer (or graphic equalizer) from a dresser? Answered

 I have an Ikea dresser with smoked glass panels recessed in the front of each drawer, and there are six identical drawers stacked on top of each other (www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40129591). I was looking at it the other day, and thought, "Hey, why not try to make it into an EQ?" I'd like to have it driven either by a line level signal (in which case, I'd still want to be able to pull the signal out the other side, unchanged) or by a microphone/pickup of some kind. 

So my questions are: 

What would be the simplest way to make the controller to drive the EQ bar lights?

Is it feasible to use incandescent light bulbs to light the glass, or would it be difficult/impossible to sync them precisely to music?


I agree with Alex.  Personally, I find it might be difficult to use LEDs as it would take many to light up each drawer effectively.

I would recommend using cold cathode lighting (the tubes commonly seen as ground effects on cars and in pimped computer cases).  They're not that expensive, and they put out a great deal of light.  You would need to connect each output of the LM3916 to transistor capable of supplying the 12 V needed for each inverter box for the lights.

The easiest way you could do it is with a LM3916

then wire the outputs of that ship to some transistors and then to your lights

you can use incandescent lights, but they take a lobger time to cool down, LEDs turn off faster

Incandescents also take longer to turn on. I tend to agree with the LED suggestion.