LED Blinds Turn Windows into Displays

[Dinofizz] is almost done with his vertical LED blinds. The build makes use of 768 diffused white LEDs (10mm size), at a resolution of 48×16, and it only requires one 16-channel LED driver (a MBI5026), which makes use of 3x 4-to-16 demultiplexers. Did we mention it has 16 shades of grayscale too?

At the heart of the many piles of painstakingly soldered wires is an ATmega644A microcontroller which takes care of interpreting the data for the display. He didn’t write the firmware himself though, that credit goes to [Jay Clegg] who does some pretty cool work with Evil Mad Science’s Peggy 2.0 LED driver.

What we really have to admire is the amount of effort he put into this project. He used custom PCBs to daisy chain the blinds together, 300 feet of 16-way ribbon cable, and approximately 4000 individual solder joints! You’d think there would have been an easier way!

Making use of his high rise windows, he now has the ability to broadcast messages for the world to see. After the break check out the video of them in action!

20 thoughts on “LED Blinds Turn Windows into Displays

      1. Correct. I have made it so that the blinds can be switched around and face outside. But I am still tweaking and debugging, and it helps to see what I am doing from inside :)

  1. Higher res – take a photo of your room when lit – then display it outside when the blinds are closed… !
    Perhaps add some saucy content over it – like a couple preparing for an intimate moment, or a burglar ‘casing the place’…
    You can identify which neighbours have a telescope!

      1. Because they suck. They only signal at 800 kbit/sec, their signalling is tremendously timing-sensitive, they’re not very bright, and their low PWM frequency means they flicker like a beast. Also, the WS2812 integrated LEDs have horrible colour rendition. They do work with PixelPusher, but we don’t officially support them because there are so very poor in comparison to the strips we sell.

    1. Nice product! But if I didn’t make it myself from scratch I would never have had as much fun ;) Also with ~100m of blinds to cover I think your awesome multicoloured LED strips would cost me a fortune!

    1. I have added a new video with the display working as a spectrum analyser. The lights are active from the beginning :) I know the first video did not have much content, but it was a “teaser”. I’m still playing around with the project.

  2. I like it, but I’m way too lazy to make this myself, also it might get too expensive for me for a frivolous thing like this.
    Now it might become commercially available for a low price all over the place at some point, but then it isn’t interesting anymore. Oh well.

    Incidentally, I wonder if you could use one of those common ‘LED tags’ you can wear on your clothes or those small matrix displays, and simply disconnect the LED matrix and connect the driving part to a homemade large net of LED like in this project. Scale up the output as it were.

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