I've finished adding more sophisticated lighting effects to my staircase (demonstration starts at 0:52

(Chris Parton) #1

I’ve finished adding more sophisticated lighting effects to my staircase (demonstration starts at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bg3Nlso1b8&t=0m52s).

I’ve got more plans for the staircase, but I think I’ll move on to some other projects first.

(Marc Miller) #2

Good stuff. The firewalker one is fun.

(Chris Parton) #3

@marmil Thanks, that one was added almost as an afterthought because I wanted one more effect, but I was really happy with the result.

It was by far the fastest to implement too. It’s based on the Fire2012 demo, which I modified to support heat dissipation in both directions instead of just upwards.

(Marc MERLIN) #4

Very cool idea, although I’d be wanting for the stairs to turn into an escalator with such cool lights :slight_smile:

(Chris Parton) #5

@Marc_MERLIN An escalator would be fantastic, unfortunately I don’t have one of those laying around :wink:

It would make for a great installation at a shopping centre or airport travelator, thought it might cause some congestion!

(Marc MERLIN) #6

I’ll let you off the hook on the escalator as long as you add music to the steps :slight_smile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcaOVqpDkGc

(Chris Parton) #7

@Marc_MERLIN The thought has definitely crossed my mind! I have an MP3 module that would be easy to hook up, but it can only play one sound at a time so you’d get abrupt changes between notes if you didn’t let them play out fully.

I could solve the audio problem by using a Pi instead of an Arduino, but I’d have to port the code across, add some shift registers and switch to APA102 strips, which is more time and effort than I’m willing to invest!

I guess the other options would be a more sophisticated audio mixer for the Arduino, or have the Arduino communicate with the Pi just to have it play sounds. Possibly something I’d do in the future, but for now I’ve got some other projects I want to work on :slight_smile:

(Marc Miller) #8

@Chris_Parton For the future…

(Sam Guyer) #9

That is cool! I might try to adapt your “particle attractor” idea to my project (reactive table).

(Chris Parton) #10

@Sam_Guyer I’d like to see that :slight_smile:

The code for my particle system is here: https://github.com/chrisparton1991/chrislights/blob/master/InteractiveStaircaseV2/ParticleLightMode.h

The physics calculations might look a bit weird; I wasn’t happy with how the particles were behaving so I started tweaking lots of parameters haha.

(Sam Guyer) #11

@Chris_Parton Cool! Thanks for sharing. I’ve got a couple of interesting challenges in my project. For one, my “space” is two dimensional, so I need position, velocity, and acceleration to be vectors. In addition, I can have any number of “attractors” depending on what shape is above the table. I could either try to model the attractor as a complex shape, or maybe just have each particle move towards the nearest one. I’ll have to tinker with it. I’ll post a video when I get something interesting.

(Chris Parton) #12

@Sam_Guyer No problem at all. The funny thing is, I based my particle system on a 2D vector one, and simplified it to use scalar arithmetic. Here’s the original:

My code supports multiple attractors (every step can be one), so that’s not an issue.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

(Adolfo Franco) #13

Good afternoon Chris,

I saw your interactive ladder design and found it very interesting!

I am a beginner in the area of ​​led tape and I am developing a project where I have to control 8 tracks of 25 meters each.

Where to start? Can I count on your help?

Thank you!

(Marc MERLIN) #14

@Adolfo_Franco part of those projects is for you to figure out too. You need to start simple with a chip, and breadboard and an LED strip, work your way up and if you get stuck on a design decision or a problem you can’t resolve on your own, then you can post it :slight_smile:

(Adolfo Franco) #15


Good evening,

I will have 8 strips of led strip (addressable) 25 meters each!

I need to control them individually and I’m going to use Arduino.

Which model of led tape to use?
How do I fix the strips?
Which Arduino library to use?
Can I control a quantity of 1000 leds strip?

Any similar designs?

(Marc MERLIN) #16

If you need all 8 strips to display different things, then you’ll want parallel output, which means using teensy 3.x or ESP32 as the chip.
If all 8 strips can display the same thing, it’s much easier: just pretend you have one strip, and connect 8.
Which LED strip you buy is up to you but today I’d buy WS2813 for extra reliability (it’s compatible with WS2811/WS2812)

Standard FastLED from git should work well enough on ESP32 and teensy
Yes you can control 1000 LEDs. There is no limit except the amount of RAM you have and how slow your refresh rate, is.

(Marc Miller) #17

@Marc_MERLIN You forgot providing power to your “no limits”! :stuck_out_tongue:

@Adolfo_Franco Please post your questions in a new post for your project.

(Marc MERLIN) #18

@marmil haha, power was left as an exercise to the reader :wink:

(Chris Parton) #19

Hi @Adolfo_Franco , I’m glad you like my project :slight_smile:

As @Marc_MERLIN and @marmil have said, it’s best to start small if you’re starting out. Get a simple project up and running, then slowly build on that.

You can share your progress in the Show Off Your Work section, and ask for help in Support. There are lots of friendly and knowledgeable people here who will be happy to help with specific problems you come across :slight_smile:

As mentioned above, power will be a concern with this many LEDs. If I read correctly, you want 8*25 metres, which is 30000 LEDS if you’re using 30 LED/m strips.

The theoretical maximum power draw for this configuration (every strip turned up to full white) is 72 kW (200 metres * 30 LEDs * 0.06A / 5V), so you might want to pick up a nuclear reactor as well :wink:

Of course, if you’re only powering a small percentage of LEDs at a time, and not at full white, power consumption will be a lot less. It all depends on what you want to do with them.

(Marc MERLIN) #20

@Chris_Parton 8 strips x 25 meters * 100 LEDs per meter x 60mA = 1200A (or 6kW) which is still way too much power :slight_smile: