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.


  1. Osgeld says:


  2. googfan says:

    but why?

  3. Just Paul says:

    Now if this was a huge wifi antenna hidden inside an umbrella that would be interesting.

  4. me says:

    POV twirling umbrella

  5. Rain Man says:

    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…”

  6. Osgeld says:

    getting caught in the rain would indicate you would not have an umbrella :p

  7. Dave says:

    “but why?”

    Why not?

  8. christopher says:

    *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?


  9. Whatnot says:

    Maybe it won’t fold when it’s along the spines.

    I like the swirling and random patterns at the end best btw.

  10. dan says:

    am i the only one who giggled at the first headline: “bot gives head to passersby”??

  11. PiNG says:

    @Just Paul
    that was my first thought when i saw the picture.

  12. Robin says:

    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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