Our editors have compiled a list of the “Top 5 Strangest LED Projects” for your enjoyment. Which ones are your favorites?

Honorable Mention – Programmable Spinning LED Fans

Polo Tech takes the idea of a spinning LED fan to a whole new level of customizability — allowing users to program messages and other text via USB. This patented technology consists of “a rotating circuit board with a vertical array of LEDs attached” that “uses persistence of vision to display the graphics”. [Source]

5. Giant MP3 LED Display

To build your own nifty “Giant MP3 LED Display”, you’ll need lots of 128×64 two-colored LEDs, approx. 80×40cm panel, 110A/5V = 550W power input, an Ethernet interface, and a 16-MHz ATmega128 processor. Full instructions here.

Again, this was such a crazy project for me. It began with the mountain of LED modules I bought off eBay. And from this this enormous pile of LEDs came this panel


4. 32 RGB LED Magic Ball

You may have seen these cool — but sometimes annoying — LED devices before, so why not make your own?

This one was made using a Microchip 16F628 microcontroller and serial to parallel converter chips since the 16F628 doesn’t have 32 outputs.


3. LED Touch Sensor

JustDIY proves that LEDs can be used for more than lighting, but also as an input device.

This is a collection of the work I’ve done with using the bi-directional properties of LEDs. I have also included links to information I’ve found on the subject and the project by an NYU research that inspired me


2. 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”. Video demonstration after the jump.

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.


1. 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]