Building Nanoleaf-Inspired Wall Panels That Look Great

Nanoleaf is well-known as being that company that makes those lovely glowing tiles that you can hang on your wall. The only thing is, they’re not cheap. So if you want a really cool layout, you have to spend a great amount of money. [Projects with Red] was inspired by the basic concept, though, and whipped up their own gem-shaped wall tiles along similar lines.

The devices can work as a big clock if you so desire.

The irregular hexagon shape of each gem has ten connection points to attach the segments together. Physical connections are made using the 3D printed housings of each segment, while connections are simply made with wires and connectors hanging out the back for flexibility.

Each segment features a black printed housing with a solid lid and a translucent acrylic sheet to act as a diffuser. An addressable LED strip is mounted to the lid for illumination, with Dupont connectors for hooking them up to power and data. An ESP32 is used to drive the addressable LED chain, running the software for easy control of the lights and animations. The video below also explains how to configure the segments into a giant colorful 7-segment display.

It’s a neat way to build some LED wall art, with plenty of scope to reconfigure it to suit your own needs. We’ve seen some other fun LED tile projects before, too.
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Build Your Own Nanoleaf-Like Hex Lights

Nanoleaf makes a variety of beautiful LED lighting products, with their hexagon tiles particularly popular with gamers and streamers alike. However, they do come at a significant cost, particularly if you want to put together a larger display. [Giovanni Aggiustatutto] decided to build his own version from scratch, with a nice wooden finish to boot.

The benefit of the wooden design is that the panels look nice both when they’re switched on, and when they’re switched off. [Giovanni] selected attractive okumè plywood for the build, which is affordable and has a lovely grain. The hexagons were then fitted on their back side with strips of WS2812B LEDs. The first hexagon is fitted with an ESP32 that runs the lights, with the other hexagons having their LEDs daisychained from there. 3D printed frames were then fitted to each hexagon to allow them to be connected together into a larger wall-hanging piece.

Ultimately, building your own wall lights lets you customize them to operate exactly as you want, and often lets you save a lot of money, too. We’ve featured other similar builds before, too. Video after the break.

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DIY Nanoleaf LED Panels Offer Peace Of Mind

Nanoleaf light panels are a popular product for creating glowing geometric designs on walls. However, for those that like to avoid IoT devices that integrate with big cloud services, they’re not ideal, and involve compromising on one’s privacy, somewhat. [Viktor] decided to build something of his own instead to avoid this problem.

The design is that of an equilateral triangle, which allows the panels to tesselate well. Each panel consists of two 3D printed parts. The black PLA base holds the WS2812B LED strips, cabling, and ESP8266 controller, while a white PLA cover goes over the top, which acts as a diffuser to spread the light from the individual LEDs. Each triangle contains 24 LEDs, and six triangles together consume around 1.6 amps when in use.

The benefit of the system is that it’s not controlled from a company’s cloud system, which can be shutdown at any time. [Viktor’s] setup runs entirely independently, and can be controlled from a simple web page. Plus, there’s nothing stopping him from modifying the code to use the panels for any purpose; commercial products like Nanoleaf don’t offer anywhere near the flexibility of building your own.

We’ve seen others build their own smart lighting with similar techniques before, too. Video after the break.

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Triangle Tiles Form Blinky Networks Using Clever Interconnects

We love to see LEDs combined in all shapes and sizes, so we were especially ticked when we caught a glimpse of [Debra Ansell]’s (also known as [GeekMomProjects]) interlocking triangular TriangleLightPanel system glowing on our screen. This unusually shaped array seemed to be self supporting and brightly glowing, so we had to know more.

The TriangleLightPanel is a single, triangular, light panel (refreshing when everything is in the name, isn’t it?).  Each panel consists of a single white PCBA holding three side-firing SK6812 LEDs aimed inward, covered by transparent acrylic. When the LEDs are doing their thing, the three-position arrangement and reflective PCB surface does diffuses the light sufficiently to illuminate each pane — if not perfectly evenly — very effectively. Given the simple construction it’s difficult to imagine how they could be significantly improved.

The real trick is the mechanical arrangement. Instead of being connected with classic Dupont jumper wires and 0.1″ headers or some sort of edge connector, [Debra] used spring contacts. But if you’re confused by the lack of edge-plated fingers think again; the connectors are simple plated strips on the back. There is a second PCBA which effectively acts as wires and a surface to mount the spring contacts on, which is bolted onto the back of the connected leaves to bridge between each node. The tiles need to be mechanically connected in any case, so it’s a brilliantly simple way to integrate the electrical connection with the necessary mechanical one.

All the requisite source files are available on the project’s GitHub page and the original Tweets announcing the project are here for reference. We can’t wait to see what this would look like with another 30 or 40 nodes! Enterprising hackers are already building their own setup; see [arturo182]’s 24 tile array glowing after the break.

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