G-35 Christmas lights do make a great LED matrix

This fully-addressable RGB LED matrix was built by [John Graham-Cummings]. He didn’t start from scratch, but wisely repurposed a strand of GE Color Effect lights and built a pleasant looking case in which to mount the G-35 hardware.

We’ve seen this hardware used in a similar way before. Because each ‘bulb’ has its own microcontroller, color data is shifted in via a serial bus. Orient the modules in any pattern you choose and account for that layout in software.

Since the strings have 50 bulbs, [John] simply cut off the one on the end to form his 7×7 matrix with the remaining 49 units. A square of plywood with a grid of holes holds each in place. Cord mess is not a problem as the extra was cut out and the remainders were soldered together again. [John] uses an Arduino Pro to feed in the data, which you can see for yourself in the clip after the break.

[Thanks Evalpix]

Comments

  1. Max says:

    Anyone know where we can get these in the uk? I only found one place at £100 for 36. Amazon US has them at $100 for 50.

  2. blue carbuncle says:

    Love it! Nice repurpose and it looks good in its box. I’m with Max in that I had never seen these in a store before, but will keep my eyes on the clearance shelves this year ;) Thanks for the info :)

  3. All these different serial-controlled LEDs make me wonder: why is there still not a RGB LED with a i2c or spi controller chip built-in? There are blinking LEDs and color-fade LEDS indicating that putting a chip in a LED is easy. why not make a pre-packaged 4-pin LED: Vcc, GND, SCL, SDA? It would allow so meny cool things to be done in a small space. [ the main problem with current modules is that they are all too big ]

  4. evlapix says:

    s/Evalpix/evlapix/

  5. Julspower says:
  6. Jim says:

    What did you use to cntroll the lights? What would be my shopping list? Can this be done with regular serial on a usb port or…?

  7. Code_Red says:

    “uses an Arduino Pro to feed in the data”

  8. Sam says:

    Video is down would love to see it…

    Saw these on sale at Lowes this weekend.

  9. Joe Banks says:

    Why was the video removed? Please provide a link for more information, including any forums and/or building plans.

  10. Captain Obvious says:

    This video has been removed

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