LED Magic Staff Just in Time for Halloween!

LED staff

[Dave's] been working pretty hard on his Arduino driven, LED-lit, magical staff for the past few months, and now it’s finally coming together.

He’s using 6 LED strips that contain 55 LEDs each — at full brightness the staff can suck up an impressive 20A @ 5V! To power it, he’s equipped the staff with 8 NiMH C size batteries (5000mAh @ 1.5V). This works out to about 15-20 minutes of runtime at full power (255, 255, 255, LED values) — to counter this he usually runs a sparkly LED algorithm that lasts much longer. Besides, at full power it’s really quite blinding.

The staff is controlled by an Arduino Uno and currently only has two different modes: random and full brightness. Not to worry though, he’s planning on adding a sound sensor to turn it into an equalizer, a shock sensor to give it a cool ripple effect while walking, and maybe a few other interesting patterns!

Stick around after the break to see the first test video!

10 thoughts on “LED Magic Staff Just in Time for Halloween!

  1. would be interested to know how much he spent on all of that. looking through the build details on his website doesnt offer much by the way of how much he has spent total.
    would also like to see the arduinos code. ive always wanted to mess around with those led strips.

    1. Hi there, that’s my staff! :)

      I’ll put together an entire build list when everything’s said and done. kommune78 there is right – add onto that the batteries from Amazon (about $32), the tubing (maybe $20), and the entire thing in raw materials is probably around $125. Building out the infrastructure was a lot more (i needed a new soldering iron, power supply, etc etc).

  2. I’ve been playing with a similar (if not identical) LED strip and they are very impressive. I do have one tip for random colors though. I see he is setting each RGB value to a random integer between 0-63, which seems like a good idea but it tends to give out mostly pastel colors. If you generate a forth number between 0-2 and use it to randomly set one of the RGB values to 0 the final colors are much more vibrant and no longer pastels.

    1. WOW. That is fantastic information. Thank you! I will give it a try (I’d noticed the pastel coloring, and had just chalked it up to ‘that’s what happens’. I’ll work up the code and give it a whirl. Thanks!

  3. From the RSS, I couldn’t see the picture and thought this might be the one from “The Avengers”. I would like to see a build of that one with the moving teseract type glow.

  4. Wow, impressive, my “Magic Staff” doesn’t have any lights on it. Maybe one of the mods he could put on it when he gets around to it is a 1D pong game with the shock sensor. Oh yea, one more thing, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”

  5. I’ve been seeing similar projects for the past few weeks at my local hackerspace. In fact, last meeting, one of our members had set the color and intensity to vary with respect to the intensity of the audio bands of any music file. Sadly, there isn’t anything posted on the Hive13 website about it, beyond the fact that it exists.

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