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Multimedia LED light/sound project with multiple zones. Help!!!

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by smonczka, Nov 9, 2021.

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  1. smonczka


    Nov 9, 2021
    I am working on a multimedia project that quite frankly is probably over my head but nothing ventured... So imagine this you are sitting in a room, over head you hear and see thunder and lightning. From the four corners of the room you hear the wind blow and the rain fall. The lights in the room gently shift colors and the table before you starts to glow eliminating three dimensional map.

    In short I am modifying a room for my son to run "Pen & Paper" RPG's in. We are adding "cloud" ceiling panels (LED's covered by fiber for visual effects), transducers attached to the panels for sound effects, edge lighting a gaming table and bookshelves and surround speakers set into the walls for music.

    I have worked with LED's before but very simple projects, nothing like this and could really use the some help in figuring out how to do this. I know how to make the cloud ceiling not what type of LED's would be best used. I know how to set up the speakers but not what type of controller to use to synchronize them with the lights. Or what voltage the lights should be, 5 or12 volt.

    We have four zones...
    1. Zone 1 * Ceiling - 6 strips (5 meters each) of multi colored individually addressable LEDs
    2. Zone 2 * Table - 4 strips (5 meters each) of multi colored individually addressable LEDs
    3. Zone 2 * Table - 4 strips (5 meters each) White LEDs
    4. Zone 3 * Book Shelves - 4 strings (5 meters each) of multi colored individually addressable LEDs
    The lights will have to be
    1. synchronized to music/sound effects played through a computer, iPad or other sound source
    2. Centrally controlled through the use of an tablet (iPad) and/or a computer
    3. Voice activated through app or Alexa Voice Assistant
    4. Programable for custom scenes
    5. * All Zones listed above need to be controlled separately or together. For example lights on the table red and book shelves blue while the ceiling lights flash to the sounds of a thunder storm
    6. Lights should be individually addressable RGB's with the table being RGB+W and as bright as possible
    7. Lights must be Dimmable and programable
    Please note that all lights should need to be synced directly to a music source/player and NOT use a microphone. The microphone solution often pics up ambient sounds and in this case we want to be able to have the ceiling sync to sounds of a thunder storm while the table may sycn to music played from another source.

    Not sure how possible any of this, is but if it is I would like to know what products I should purchase…
    1. How do I synchronize everything. What type of controller do I use.
    2. What are the best type of LEDs light strips to use
    3. What type of controller(s) should I get
    4. What power supplies will be needed needed and what voltage should be used
    5. Any other products that might be needed or might help get this done
    As for my level of experience, I have a background in computers and SQL scripting. I have done small projects with off the shelf LED strips, cutting and splicing and rewiring are not an issue. I also have a friend who is a journeyman electrician who is also helping.

    Thank you for any information you can supply me with if there other resources you could point me to.
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  2. kellys_eye


    Jun 25, 2010
    You probably answered your own query with the immediate description of the materials to be used - addressable strip LEDs.

    Given these are fully programmable and that there are many libraries available for operating them, your software knowledge should be sufficient to finish the 'small details'.

    Youtube has some videos on using WS28132B addressable LED strips - probably a good place to start and Sparkfun also have some tutorials -
    smonczka and Martaine2005 like this.
  3. Martaine2005


    May 12, 2015
    Just to add:
    YouTube has loads of Halloween type synced LED lighting with computer controlled scenes and music.
    Some show how to do it and what controller to use. Some share their code and some show the wiring. It is very effective and time consuming.
    I suggest you sit down and watch quite a few for ideas.

  4. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    Looking up "raspberry alexa rgb led" turns up quite a few projects where a Raspberry Pi is used to mediate between Alexa and RGB LEDs. Syncing the LEDs to the music will require to interface the Raspberry to the music source, digitize the music and analyze it e.g. for spectral density or beat. The results of the analysis can then be used to further control the LEDs.

    Alternatively you can use an off the shelf music sensitive LED controller (e.g. like this one). The drawback of this kind of controller is that they all seem to come with a built--in microphone. But:
    - you could place a small speaker next to the microphone and put the speaker and the controller in a soundproof box. Now the microphone should "hear" only the sounds that are presented by the speaker, e.g. the thunderstorm you mentioned. This is how I would probably proceed)
    - you could rip the microphone from the controller ad directly input an attenuated version of the audio into the microphone port. This is somewhat risky as you don't know how the microphone is being used within the controller plus you create a possibly long external connection which will introduce increased sensitivity to noise etc. into the circuit.
    smonczka likes this.
  5. smonczka


    Nov 9, 2021
    Thanks, I like the idea with the mic, risky though it is I think I could make it work.
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