LEDs invade coffee table crevice

That’s a lot of LEDs, and a little bit of glass cleaner. [Tobias] spiced up his IKEA coffee table by adding 6144 LEDs. This is a larger realization of SparkFun’s LED coffee table which used 64 8×8 modules. [Tobias] sourced three display boards from Sure Electronics for a total of 96 8×8 modules. These boards are addressed through a serial interface; four serial lines for each board but a shared data bus for each of the row select pins and the data/latch/clock pins.  This method uses 19 of the 20 pins on the Arduino that drives the display. After the break you can see a demonstration. If this is more than you need there’s always the 112-LED and 81-LED table projects that can produce a full color range.


  1. macegr says:

    Truly epic…always wanted to do something awesome with those Sure LED panels!

  2. funkja says:


  3. mrgoogfan says:

    no freaking way

  4. Gene says:

    I dunno. I like LED displays as much as the next guy, but as you up the resolution at some point I think it just starts looking like a low-res monitor and loses much of the charm.

  5. jeditalian says:

    so he didn’t have to solder 12,288 connections?

  6. jeditalian says:

    has somebody already taken a giant flatscreen tv, laid it on its back, put a sheet of glass over it, and called it a coffee table? paired with wireless video cable (if that exists, if not.. hackaway!)
    coffee table computer monitor xD
    then your screensaver would be a coffeetablesaver and that would kickass

  7. sephamorr says:

    Sureelectronics is awesome!
    So is this, but I agree with the comments about it being rather low res.

  8. Freax says:

    Yes, there were some builds with similar concepts in an issue of c’t (german computer magazine) some years ago.

  9. OrganizedChaos says:

    Would be pretty cool for audio visualizations.

  10. Sigh says:

    wow, haven’t seen this before.

  11. gbpic says:

    He should really use the SPI bus for this sort of thing.

  12. polossatik says:

    One thing I don’t get, the link to that sureelectronics shop is for a red led panel, the used panels are clearly not only red.

  13. polossatik says:
  14. BiOzZ says:

    i hope they multiplexed O_o

  15. HIrudinea says:

    Why not have is display your favourite RSS feed or some primative video games, thats it giant pong clock coffee table!

  16. Mikey says:

    Sad that it’s only red/green, those are decent prices for serial based LED panels.

    @BiOzZ they didn’t have to, the display panels handle that for you. They just sent data to them in serial.

    @gbpic I agree, but he clearly didn’t have a choice, the display panels have their own interface.

  17. konsumer says:

    Here is a chip that can do VGA w/ arduino:


  18. konsumer says:

    Here is another nice one, even cheaper:


    this one does basic ansi, but also provides TV-out and PS/2 input.

  19. Lou Skunt says:

    Another lame adruino table …

  20. Tachikoma says:

    Shame it’s not RGB, but it is still pretty cool. What I would do is salvage a couple of diffuser sheets from a busted LCD TV and lay them on top of the LEDs.

    It would be great to create procedural effects on that thing, ranging from game of life to nice vortex and “plasma” stuff.

    @Lou Skunt: I’m interested to see what projects you have undertaken so far?

  21. jim says:


  22. markii says:

    …who has a coffee table anyway?

  23. grovenstien says:

    @jeditalian yes they have! and they are multitouch, check out nuigroup for all of your laid on back flat screen multitouch coffee table goodness!

  24. Agent420 says:

    I’m with the monitor/tv sentiments here…


  25. Circuitmage says:

    Looks nice. I like the tables with active response displays though…

  26. Whatnot says:

    Buy a monitor for 1/5th the money, screw it under the table, if you prefer low res write a driver that displays virtual LED on it or slam a grid on it to obscure the full resolution.

  27. CapitalC says:

    It’s not a “coffee” table, you’d never put a coffee mug down on that thing! More of a shin-hacker, did you see the overhang on the glass?

    Great table tho, would also love to see it RGB for ambient effects!

  28. Rob says:

    How many more LED tables is HaD going to cover?

  29. This needs to be playing John Conway’s Game of Life…

  30. hintss says:

    must avoid temptation to build…

  31. hintss says:

    wait, dosen’t the display board that the hackaday links to a red-only one? and dosen’t the video show red and green

  32. hintss says:

    sorry for th triple post, but I found this ikea table:


    its proabably more expensive, ut you can fit the electronics into the drawer

  33. Illlion says:

    how much would this cost roughly?
    ive wanted to build an LED coffee table/wall panel for a while now, they seem to be getting better.

    what would be a decent resource for learning to multiplex these type of panels?

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