Follow-up: Radio-controlled LED light show


[Alan] shared an update with us regarding a project he has been working on for some time, radio-controlled LED light strips destined for use by the Travelling Light Circus. If you are not familiar with the project or need a quick refresher, you can read our post about it here.

He recently met up with the guys from TLC to finish things up and was happily surprised that they did not want to mount his lights on the performers, as was originally planned. He would have had to make a few modifications if that was the case, but instead, they planned on attaching them to bicycle wheels. The light strips were mounted inside translucent plastic tubes that fan out from the center of the wheels, where the battery and radio equipment is located. The wheels were mounted on aluminum poles, allowing the performers to create a visually stunning show, just by spinning the pole.

Check out the pair of videos we have embedded below, the project came together quite nicely.


  1. xorpunk says:

    isn’t that the guy from the 3d eyelid prank?

  2. biozz says:

    UFO UFO UFO UFO UFO!!!!! *photo photo photo*

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    Very nice!

    I’d say there’s some magic happening here through technology, but it’s in the video.

    Best of luck with the shows, er…break a leg!

  4. Scott says:

    Spinning the pole looks kinda cumbersome. How about putting a shaft inside that pole, and use some gears to couple it to a hand crank that turns the wheel on the end. Or a motor.

  5. T.Godfrey says:

    Can you say Hokespokes-same thing!

  6. The crank/motor thing was briefly discussed at rehearsal. A motor would add quite a lot of weight. A crank might be possible although mechanically a bit difficult to arrange. It might also be awkward to operate while you are waving the pole around, but it’s worth investigating.

  7. strider_mt2k says:

    If you put some sort of bushing on the handle to allow for holding it while letting it spin freely and put a ratcheting grip on the end (like from a ratcheting screwdriver) it might allow the person holding it to maintain a good spin using wrist action while keeping it all under control for movement.

    Heck, you could almost build a generator into the handle that way and get a power generation bonus! -but that might be growing the project out too far for your purposes.


  8. @strider_mt2k, that’s exactly how it *does* work – the bike wheels still have the freewheel in place so you can spin it up by just flicking it.

  9. Andy says:

    We’ve found that a combination of spinning the ally tube, and getting hands into the spokes to whizz it, makes the wheel spin pretty fast. A pedal type of system could be a great addition, but we’re unlikely to be putting creative energy into that for the time being, with the other developments we have planned. Of course if anyone wants to make one for us to play with, get in touch :-)

  10. Andy says:

    …and here’s our video showing the system being used by our performers. Pretty darned good I reckon!

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