Putting on a show in the rain

Let’s face it, walking around in the rain sucks. [Matth3w] is trying to add a little whimsy to an unpleasant experience by adding an LED matrix to his umbrella. The array contains 80 LEDs that are individually addressable. This is a mutiplexed array that relies on a MIC2981 source driver for the eight rows (or rings in this case), with the ten columns handled by the Arduino. The effect is quite nice as you can see in the video after the break. Now that he’s proven this works, you might want to etch your own PCB in order to get rid of the Arduino board and prototyping shield, making it easier to waterproof the control circuitry. This would make a nice addition to your illuminated umbrella stock.

12 thoughts on “Putting on a show in the rain

  1. Hey, speak for yourself. I rather enjoy walking around the the rain…

    “If you like piña coladas,
    and getting caught in the rain.
    If you’re not into yoga.
    If you have half a brain…”

  2. *Please* forgive my ignorance, but wouldn’t it have been better to wire the LEDs along the umbrella spines instead of across the fabric? I would imagine less wires, less wiring exposed?

    -C

  3. Imagine those LEDs beeing connected with individual pressure sensors, flashing the leds as the rain drops hit the sensors! Would probably look like the random pattern, but oh so awesome!

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