My sister wants to do an installation that looks like 1600 hanging frosted lightbulbs.

My sister wants to do an installation that looks like 1600 hanging frosted lightbulbs. Has anyone found a good source for pretty fake lightbulbs that we could wrap around a ws2811 or their ilk?

Ping pong balls with 12mm holes drilled in them and pixel strands shoved in?
(Attn @Daniel_Garcia re CMJ…)

it’s pretty easy to rip the innards out of lightbulbs.

@Mark_Kriegsman Been there, done there.
@Zeke_Koch Do they have to resemble a lightbulb’s shape? If not you can get plastic frosted (or clean) ball shape ornaments on eBay for dirt cheap. Different sizes too.

@Ashley_M_Kirchner_No : any tips on which hand to hold the ping pong ball in and which hand to hold the power drill in? Or any other more practical, less dangerous construction tips for merging diffuser balls and pixel strands? #cubatron

Both of those techniques sound scary. I was hoping for some plastic light bulbs or something like that. Right now they’re thinking of using real lightbulbs and I’m imagining huge numbers of relays…

Maybe I can find some retro hanging lights for the garden sort of thing…

@Zeke_Koch What’s scary about using ball ornaments? It’s just a ball shape and where the top clip goes it’s an open hole. You’d have to figure out what you can get through it (especially since no one tells you what size that hole is.)
@Mark_Kriegsman I used a stationary Dremel drill press. The ball rests in the center hole in the plate and you lower the drill. Granted, I only needed a 3mm hole because all I stuck in them was a 3mm single color LED and hot glued in place. But it’s easy to make the hole larger with the same bit. Or you can use a thinner bit and drill tiny holes around the circumference of the 12mm that you want then pop it out.

Actually, I also made some of them with a 5mm square hole and hot glued it onto a 5050 RGB LED. The LED fit inside the hole while the attached PCB stuck outside. If you make it small enough you can just hot glue the whole thing to the top of the ball and no one will see it.

Ball ornaments sounds like her speed. I was talking about ping pong balls and real glass lightbulbs.

Ping pong balls are flexible plastic. You can burn a hole through them with a soldering iron! Ornaments are tougher but still doable with an iron. Glass however … you need a special bit for that, and ideally a drill press, or something that can keep both the glass and the drill very steady.

I did a search on AliExpress for LED Lampshade and found these on the first page

2 points! Put the drill on reverse and use a wood bit. The plastic cuts easy and is pulled OUT of the ball

Secondly, ping pong balls are cheap easy to play with and flammable… Just be wary if these balls are going near public.

Real lightbulbs however should be pretty easy to find what with recycling and all! Local sort-it centres should have baskets of them if they haven’t been smashed already.

Also with the same concept, large lamp suppliers offer a free pickup / destruction service usually… They may let you have them for shipping / time costs

I spoke with them last night (she’s in a small film studio/youtube channel in LA (soulpancake)) and it sounds like they’re set on using incandescent lightbulbs.

No knowing much about AC power I pointed them at relays and such, but they could probably use someone in LA to help with the design and programming. Basically they’re trying to shoot a music video of a band (5 seconds of summer) playing in a ‘field’ of lightbulbs with some basic animations that sync to the music. They might just be better off with some off the shelf DMX stuff, but that’s also not something I’ve played with much

It’s a long shot, but do we know anyone in LA that would be interested in collaborating with them? They’re pretty scrappy and are trying to do this relatively low budget (think low thousands all in), but I assume this would be a commercial gig + promotion.

SoulPancake is known for video’s like “Kid President”


@Zeke_Koch I’m in the Central California area, I have experience as a fabricator/carpenter/welder. Perhaps we could collaborate on this?

I have uses pin pong balls for ws2801’s and they did just fine. Something like this would be easy on dmx512 … you could do it a ton of different ways. I wish I was closer I would definitely be able to help.