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Mood Light Panel - how to?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Dantanna, Dec 29, 2004.

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  1. Dantanna

    Dantanna Guest

    Has anyone else seen these panels out there? They are ridiculasly priced at
    over $400 for a 2x2 ft. square panel made up of 4 cubes. The cubes change
    colors and I am interested in understanding what kind of light they are
    using. Any thoughts by the pros?

    The plastic cubes look opaque and the light is supposedly LED. I think the
    circuit would be the hardest part to recreate.
     
  2. Then they are probably RGB LEDs under a translucent. You could build
    your own with a $2 PIC chip, some code, three $1 mosfets, some resistors
    and about $300 worth of RGB LEDs. ;-)
     
  3. Dantanna

    Dantanna Guest

    Well check this out - I want to do this on a larger scale like this :
    http://www.gnr8.biz/moodpanel.html

    And I'm thinking I might be able to hack one of these :
    http://www.homedics.com/prod/detail.aspx?ID=179#

    To work on a larger scale for my kids playroom/disco/Karaoke place! What do
    you guys think about modifying the cheaper Homedic one? Could it be done?
    I mean, how could I add more LEDs to the circuit?

    Anyway, thanks for the reply - I guess I can now understand where the high
    price comes from with the RGB LED's and all...
     
  4. Clarence_A

    Clarence_A Guest

    Wow! That is a lot of LEDs! I have been buying RGY LEDs for $1.95 a hundred.

    http://www.mpja.com/listitems.asp?dept=116&main=122

    Lets see. $100 / $1.95 = 51+ OR 5,100 of each color. I think for a mode
    light you might use 1600 per square.
     
  5. Let me know when you can get rgB (tri-color) LEDs for that, I can't seem
    to find them for less than about $2 each (and that's a whole lot cheaper
    than a year ago).
     
  6. Clarence_A

    Clarence_A Guest

    I don't use many tricolors, but when I bought the last lot it was $.71 each.
    I have no idea what they sell for now!
     
  7. Dantanna

    Dantanna Guest

    You really think it would take that many LED's? The LED's need only
    illuminate the diffused plastic. I would think one or two with a light tube
    or some way of projecting the light would work -
     
  8. I figured it would take at least 9 and possibly 16 to get nice enough
    illumination over a single quadrant (25cm X 25cm) that you could easily
    see in sunlight. That may be overkill, but to avoid bright spots,
    you'll have to cover the tops of the LEDs so that all light striking the
    panel is reflected. For all I know, simply painting the crown of the
    LED may be enough, but IMO it will still take somewhat more than one or
    two LEDs to be practical in daylight.

    I still cant find any bundles of RGB LEDs for less than 1.80 each. :-(
     
  9. Dantanna

    Dantanna Guest

    So lets say I didn't hack a preexisiting system. What types of circuits and
    components should I research about making a similar system?

    Simply put, what are some of the popular tools/components used to control
    LED's for a disco display?
     
  10. I would use a microcontroller, but that's me.
     
  11. Don Taylor

    Don Taylor Guest

    I noticed in the Discovery store today panels that appeared to be
    perhaps 10" square and which had various colors that would shift
    behind the translucent surface with some options for control.
    Regular price $50, on sale $30.

    Perhaps you have a Discovery store near you or they have similar
    prices online.
     
  12. Dantanna

    Dantanna Guest

    Thanks - that is exactly what I was looking for. Great site - sadly what
    more of the internet used to be like...
     
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