There’s lots of creative things you can do with LEDs, like building a two-story high display or Time Fountain. “Continue reading” for our top picks.

Honorable Mention – Simmons Hall Two-Story LED Display

Here’s yet another project from the labs of MIT: a “home-made two-story high 6×6 array of windows outfitted with ultra-cool Luxeon LXHL-LR3C Royal Blue LEDs.”

It can be seen from most of Briggs Field and Dorm Row at MIT, thus making for a convenient announcement board. It follows from a vision that many Simmons Hall residents have had in the past: to turn the waffle-like arrangement of windows into working pixels


5. Illume LED Display Shelf

Design student Chris Owens created “Illume” — “a shelf with pressure sensitive plates and embedded LEDs that light up objects that are placed on the shelf” — for his final project.

4. Blue Bawls Automatic LED Light

To make your own “Blue Bawls Automatic LED Light”, you’ll need a 9V battery, photo-cell, NPN transistor (2N 4401), one super bright white LED, 100K ohms resistor, 470 ohms resistor, 9V battery snap, one empty bottle, and around 2-3 hours of time. [Source]

3. Computer-Controlled LED Lamp

The “headLamp” consists of “about 300 leds soldered into a metal colander (like you use for straining noodles)” and are “wired to a circuit and controlled by the [computer’s] parallel port”.

The iTunes plugin is written to accept sample data from iTunes when a song is playing, which takes the form of an integer between 0 and 128. The plugin operates under the assumption that a rhythmic beat is likely to send a higher value, around 120. If a sample value over 120 is sent, the plugin changes the lamp’s state based on preprogramed patterns like rotations, buildups, etc.


2. Flexgrid – Bendable LED Display

James Clar introduces “Flexgrid”, a bendable display made of plexi squares, LEDs, and microcontrollers.

Embedded into a suit, this interactive display would allow for users to talk to the clothing, having it react in different ways depending on how you talked to it. This would give the clothing a ‘personality’ of its own

1. LED Time Fountain

Creatd by Nate True, “The Time Fountain” (fluorescent drops illuminated by LEDs) consists of “an old battery-powered small fountain as a base — drops are pumped through a brass tube, falling out of the end at a very regular interval.” YouTube link.

A microcontroller coordinates the speed of the pump and the strobe rate of the LEDs