As far as progress on this project, I’m definitely not as far along my timeline as I would like. My goal is to make up that lost time over Spring Break. I’ve purchased the LED panel and have wired it up so that I have the system working. I found an old laptop case in my house which actually diffuses the light really well, but I still need to diffuse the light outside of the panel. The panel is super bright, so I’m looking at purchasing some kind of reflective material to let the light diffuse outward, similar to the picture of the Gothic Theatre in my previous blog post. Here’s a short video showing the LED panel functioning without and with the diffusion panel (https://youtu.be/p4Nye0LdHfQ).
I’ve begun to code the system so that the LEDs will cycle through the sunset/sunrise routines and working on getting the colors right as well. The biggest challenge I’ve run into is using pre-written libraries with the LED panel. Since programming each LED individually would not only be incredibly tedious, it would also suck up most of the processing power of the Arduino, I’ve been using libraries pre-written by the manufacturer. These libraries have functions programmed to make the panel do certain things, but none of them fully suit what I want to do, so I’m trying to adapt these to light the panel the way I want to.
One of the biggest steps I still need to take is actually working with the wood to create the front panel. I was going to find some scrap wood at the Idea Forge or ITLL to experiment on before purchasing the wood I wanted to use. I’m looking at trying to acquire some Colorado Beetle Kill Pine, so if anyone knows of a good source for that, I’d love to hear about it.
The final challenge will be wiring and assembly the final product so that all (or most of) the wires are hidden and concealed while still being reliable connected to the Arduino and the board. The way the board is set-up makes it hard to not have exposed wire, so I will have to use the wooden panel and the electronics box to actually hide the wires.