FLASH.IT: The RGB LED Climbing Wall


[Chris] and his friends were kicking around ideas for a Burning Man project, and this is the one that stuck: a rock climbing wall with RGB LEDs embedded in the holds. The holds themselves were custom made; the group started by making silicone molds of varying shapes and sizes, then added the electronics and poured in polyurethane resin to create the casting. The boards for these LEDs are equipped with a central hole that pairs up with a peg in the silicone mold. [Chris] also solved an annoying spinning problem by affixing a bolt to the far end of the LED board: once embedded in the polyurethane, the bolt provides resistance that the thin board cannot. The finished holds bolt onto the wall with all their wires neatly sticking out of the back to be hooked up to a central controller.

The Instrucables page suggests a few ways to get the lights working, including grabbing the nearest Arduino and relying on the Neopixel Library from Adafruit. [Chris] went the extra mile for Burning Man, however, designing Arduino-software-compatible controller boards capable of communicating via DMX, which expanded the system from a simple display to one capable of more complex lighting control. Stop by the Github for schematics and PCB layouts, and stick around for a video of the wall after the break. If the thrill-seeking outdoorsman inside you yearns for more, check out WALL-O-TRON from earlier this summer.


11 thoughts on “FLASH.IT: The RGB LED Climbing Wall

  1. all 3 of those holds look awfully close to holds i’ve been climbing on for a decade and a half, so i’d guess they made molds of existing holds (didn’t click links).
    also, the bolt isn’t usually the week point, but the backer material. i couldn’t count how many times i’ve accidentally ripped the anchor through 3/4″ ply. cazy forces there.

  2. I really want to see this turned into a climbing game. Either the path is lit up and you have to only use those holds, or a hot potato type game where random holds will start flashing and you have to be off of them before they go solid. You could even add a pressure sensor so they can tell when someone is on them.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.