Arduino Forum

Using Arduino => LEDs and Multiplexing => Topic started by: Cranium on Oct 20, 2011, 08:10 am

Title: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 20, 2011, 08:10 am
Updated video at several posts down....

This is not quite completed but shows it almost done.  I'm in process of testing animations and timing.  Items to complete are:


I am illuminating the stairs using 30 RGB leds.  Control of the LEDs is done using an ATmega328 processor (Arduino) and 6 TLC5940 LED driver ICs.  Pressure sensors will be used to detect someone going on the staircase which also allows me to calibrate it so my dog won't trigger it.  A light detector will be used to only trigger it at night.

I am adding themes to the animations so at the end of the video, you will see the Xmas theme.  A halloween theme will be added that will have red pulsating lights.  Other holidays, I haven't quite thought of yet.  

This is the first project on the Arduino I started on a couple of months ago and while waiting for parts, I built some LED cubes. It took a long time to plan, breadboard a prototype and then install.   There are 120 wires that had to be run under the staircase to the closet underneath.  This project is not for the faint of heart!  LOL.

Peak amperage is about 1.4A @ 5V being regulated down from a 7.5V 2.5A wall wart power supply.

Here is a photo of the breadboard design:
(http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/6950/breadboardprototype.jpg)
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: ckeyes on Oct 20, 2011, 08:58 pm
Amazing! Thanks for posting.

Carl
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 21, 2011, 05:29 am
Thanks. :)

Just finished getting the light sensor and pressure sensors installed and calibrated.  Dog won't set it off but a person will.  And it won't come on during the day.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Oct 21, 2011, 05:55 pm
NOICE!! I've been hoping to do that someday i get my own place.
Looks amazing!
Keep it up!
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 24, 2011, 05:37 am
Finished up the stairs this weekend.  Pressure senors installed and calibrated.  LEDs mounted.  Light sensor installed and calibrated.  All that is left is to tidy up the mess in the closet under the stairs. 

$2/year to operate this cool night light. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6cYmr3RBnI
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Oct 24, 2011, 04:52 pm
Why is there blue in the Christmas theme?
I thought christmas was all about the red and green
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 24, 2011, 04:55 pm

Why is there blue in the Christmas theme?
I thought christmas was all about the red and green


Those are the main colors you see in non-lit items for x-mas.  But for lights, it's all about multi-colors. :)
http://www.google.com/search?q=xmas+lights&hl=en&client=opera&hs=bG2&rls=en&channel=suggest&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&ei=FHylTpzALYWhtwfN7YSSCA&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&ved=0CGcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1342&bih=794
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Oct 24, 2011, 05:28 pm
Interesting.

You learn something new everyday...even though i'm in college, that will be the one thing i learn today  :P
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 24, 2011, 05:37 pm
A few details on the project.....(
(click on the images for a larger version)

This is the opening I cut below the staircase to route the wires.....still need to patch it.  I used 28ga and 30ga ribbon cable for the wiring...I cannot see any difference in brightness levels between them. 
(http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg6/scaled.php?server=6&filename=img0287uy.jpg&res=medium) (http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/3898/img0287uy.jpg)

This shows the stacked boards with ATMega328 board on top.  Basic setup with pin headers to allow reprogramming without removing the IC.  Yes, that is a rubber band holding several heat sinks on the voltage regulator.  That will be removed once it is in a box with a small fan.  Currently, it barely gets warm with normal use but when I'm running it constantly for testing or demonstration, it does get a bit warm.
(http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg824/scaled.php?server=824&filename=img0295cd.jpg&res=medium) (http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/6497/img0295cd.jpg)

Side view of the boards that shows the pin headers and 6 TLC5940 LED driver ICs.
(http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg204/scaled.php?server=204&filename=img0298br.jpg&res=medium) (http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/534/img0298br.jpg)

Bottom view of boards
(http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg543/scaled.php?server=543&filename=img0299ah.jpg&res=medium) (http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/6313/img0299ah.jpg)

Messy looking but will look better once it is mounted in a box...
(http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg716/scaled.php?server=716&filename=img0305ch.jpg&res=medium) (http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/5082/img0305ch.jpg)
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Oct 24, 2011, 05:41 pm
are you addressing each RGB Led pin separately?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 24, 2011, 05:52 pm

are you addressing each RGB Led pin separately?


Yes.  The 3 boards below the processor board are addressing each of the colors and each has 30 pins for each LED (2 on each step).  I could have used multiplexing to reduce the number of TLC5940s, but the wiring would have been the same so I decided to ensure maximum brightness by driving each separately.

The processor board also provides the +5V pin headers for each of the LEDs.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Oct 24, 2011, 06:12 pm
I'm assuming that the led pins are all in a paralell circuit, right?
Otherwise what are you using to power the whole thing?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 24, 2011, 08:45 pm

I'm assuming that the led pins are all in a paralell circuit, right?
Otherwise what are you using to power the whole thing?



Not sure as to exactly what is meant by having all led pins in a parallel circuit but the circuit design uses 6 TLC5940s that are in series.  The data out for the first drives the data in for the next and that data out drives the data in for the next and so on...

The first two TLC5940s drive the red, the second two drive the green and the last two drive the blue.

I used this library for the control of the TLC5940s: http://code.google.com/p/tlc5940arduino/

Peak amperage that I saw was about 1.4A at 5V and I am using a 7.5V, 2.5A wall wart as a power supply.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Oct 24, 2011, 09:33 pm
Well i mean a series circuit is, for example, having leds one after another on one line of power.  Where as a paralell would be more having 1 led part off into its own line and then reconnect.

Here

http://people.sinclair.edu/nickreeder/eet150/PageArt/SeriesParallel1.gif (http://people.sinclair.edu/nickreeder/eet150/PageArt/SeriesParallel1.gif)

R2, R3, R4 are all in series although R1 is in a paralell circuit with the other resistors.

Are you using any capacitors on your project?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 24, 2011, 09:55 pm

Well i mean a series circuit is, for example, having leds one after another on one line of power.  Where as a paralell would be more having 1 led part off into its own line and then reconnect.

Are you using any capacitors on your project?


Gotcha.....the control circuit is series but the LEDs would be parallel.  Each is individually powered and sunk to its own pin on the TLC5940.  Yes, I am using capacitors.  A 100nf and 10uf capacitor worked fine in breadboard but then when I powered the breadboard from my wall wart and 5v regulator, it had issues so replaced a couple 100nf with 1000nf and no more issues.  It would have likely worked with just the 100nf once everything was on PCB because another noise issue on the breadboard causing intermittent flickering went away as well.

The VR I'm using is rated at 1.5A so I am pretty much peaking it out.  When I used a 12V power source, it got over 300°F and went into thermal shutdown which is why I started using the 7.5V power source.  If I run all the lights at maximum brightness (RGB on each LED) for an extended period of time, it will still get pretty hot but won't go into thermal shutdown.  But since I'm not ever running at full power but for brief transitions, and most of the time it is well below 1A, it only gets slightly warm.  I'm still putting small fan in the box it will reside in just to be on the safe side though.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Oct 24, 2011, 10:16 pm
Okay.
So i'm also curious, what kind of pressure sensor did you use?  Like, say i stepped on the left side and then the sensor was in the center.  How does the sensor cover the entire step?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 24, 2011, 10:48 pm

Okay.
So i'm also curious, what kind of pressure sensor did you use?  Like, say i stepped on the left side and then the sensor was in the center.  How does the sensor cover the entire step?

100# flexforce pressure sensor.
(http://dlnmh9ip6v2uc.cloudfront.net/images/products/08685-03-L_i_ma.jpg) (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8685)

To ensure that it is activated, I sandwiched the sensor between two 1/16" stainless steel plates.  The pressure sensor has a dab of hot glue on each side of it and the plates have dabs of hot glue between each corner.  This ensures that even if you step on the outer edge of the plate, it will still transfer pressure to the sensor.

In the breadboard setup, I also experimented with:


I decided on the pressure sensor for simplicity.  It was easy to set up and easy to blend in.  If after a period of time I discover these don't work as well as I would like, I still have the hardware to implement one of the options mentioned above.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Oct 24, 2011, 11:32 pm
Oh that makes sense.

So do you upload a new program each time or do you have like 1 microcontroller with 1 program and then another with a different one and then a main switch with on-off-1-2-3?
or how do you change from light show to light show?

Also did you need a carpet foot to get under the carpet?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 24, 2011, 11:43 pm

Oh that makes sense.

So do you upload a new program each time or do you have like 1 microcontroller with 1 program and then another with a different one and then a main switch with on-off-1-2-3?
or how do you change from light show to light show?

Also did you need a carpet foot to get under the carpet?


I upload a new program each time.  Except when I want to demonstrate it, the program will be the basic light up and light down routines.  I am going to code in a double tap on the pressure sensor to put it in demo mode so I don't have to upload a new program each time.  Holidays will require uploading a new program to use special lighting patterns as well.  But again, if I want to make it totally computer free, I could use a double tap to go into a mode selection menu that will alternate between patterns with tapping of a pressure pad.

Right now, since I'm changing the program fairly frequently, I have a laptop plugged into the board in the closet under the stairs and I log into the laptop from my upstairs office (Remote Desktop) to do the programming. 

I have not placed the top pressure plate under the carpet yet.  Downstairs, it is wood flooring and there was already a runner at the base of the stairs so the plate went below the runner.  Upstairs, it is on the carpet and I threw a mat over it.  Once I am confident enough that this solution will work long term, I will put the upstairs pressure plate under the carpet.  I don't know what the 'carpet foot' you mentioned is though.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: focalist on Oct 26, 2011, 02:54 pm
VERY cool.  Just about the only comment I can make is that I'd suggest you may want to think about either LM2679 (which is a 5 amp version of the regulator) or splitting the sourcing between two regulators.  Up under a staircase, out of sight, I'd just prefer to think there's not going to be anything that will get hotter than say, 150F.  Thermal shutdown.. you are in the range of breakdown of some adhesives and such.  You just don't want a concentrated source of heat in a hidden space.. and splitting the power will spread the heat out.  Not sure which regulator you are using, but you shouldn't really be pulling 1.4A from a regulator that has a current rating of 1.5A.  If you aren't seeing it regularly, don't rely on a fan.  Spread that heat out, and running that close to maximum rating on any component isn't going to be a good thing.  You'll definitely shorten the life of the component, save yourself some concern and beef up that regulator circuit.  Regulators are cheaper than dirt, anyway..

I'd think about adding an lcd and a couple of switches in the closet, maybe one of liudr's keypad shields, whatever-- just a simple menu setup.  From there you could even build out code to be able to build sequences within the interface.. but I'm thinking you would more likely just need a scroll-and-select from a list of pre-built sequences, like you have done.

AWESOME!!
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 26, 2011, 04:50 pm

I'd suggest you may want to think about either LM2679 (which is a 5 amp version of the regulator) or splitting the sourcing between two regulators.  Up under a staircase, out of sight, I'd just prefer to think there's not going to be anything that will get hotter than say, 150F.  If you aren't seeing it regularly, don't rely on a fan.  Spread that heat out, and running that close to maximum rating on any component isn't going to be a good thing.

I'd think about adding an lcd and a couple of switches in the closet, maybe one of liudr's keypad shields, whatever-- just a simple menu setup.  From there you could even build out code to be able to build sequences within the interface.. but I'm thinking you would more likely just need a scroll-and-select from a list of pre-built sequences, like you have done.


Excellent suggestions.  Thanks.  I am also a bit concerned about using the regulator long term.  At this point with the animations I have, the current may reach 1.3A for a few seconds and that is it.  The regulator barely gets warm with the animations I have set up.  But I have ordered some LM1084IT-5.0 from China.  These will allow me to get more headroom and do an easy replacement of the one I have now without a redesign of the PCB i have on there now.  I am going to also look at getting at least one LM2679, LM2676 or LM2670 to play with.  These are more complicated to set up but appear to generate very little heat.

Currently, I'm working on using a pressure pad tapping routine to select different modes.  It is very simple and elegant.

I have it all programmed out and it functionally looks great, but it is currently unstable going into and out of the tapping routines multiple times and becomes completely unresponsive.  Trying to figure that out.    If I can't, I'll have to come up with something else. 
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: focalist on Oct 27, 2011, 01:45 am
Is it a bounce issue?  You might try using the debounce library if you aren't already...
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Oct 27, 2011, 01:52 am

Is it a bounce issue?  You might try using the debounce library if you aren't already...


No, not a debounce issue.  I'm checking for a change in the pressure sensor reading to be below a certain threshold.  It then monitors for it to go above the threshold to tell it my foot has lifted off before counting again.  The counts are very accurate.  It is in the functions that the system completely stops responding for some, as yet, unknown issue.  Don't know if it is some kind of buffer overflow or too many functions called within other functions.  I've been spitting out serial data to try to figure out when/why it happens but haven't found anything relevant yet.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: piticasgabriel on Nov 28, 2011, 05:36 pm
A big and great work!

Congratulations! A very good start point for many projects!

Thank you!
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Jan 15, 2012, 08:50 pm
I still love this thread, still great job!!
Have you made any changes to this since then?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Jan 16, 2012, 06:13 pm
Thanks.

I have not made any more changes since my last update; however, I am going to be changing out the pressure pads to switch to an infrared beam soon.  The pressure pads work great but over time start to move around and the sensitivity decreases with repeated use.   

The transition to IR is going to require a couple of addition circuits to be added but I shouldn't have to redo what I have.  I plan on using a couple of 555 ICs to modulate the IR emitter so the receiver can accurately detect the beam.  The only downside to this is that the IR emitters are power hungry as compared to the pressure sensors with each drawing up to 50mA.  This will result in an additional $0.50/yr of electricity usage.  But I think I can live with that. ;)
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: fabiocaseri on May 19, 2012, 02:40 pm
Which rgb leds did you use?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on May 20, 2012, 08:10 am
Quote
Which rgb leds did you use?


I would like to know as well.

Also, have you made any modifications to this, how is it coming along?  I really like the idea.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Nyo on Jun 09, 2012, 10:32 am
That's just what I need to start the same project in my house!
As the others, I really would like to know which rbg leds are used for this; I will put them inside walls (plasterboard).
Very nice work!
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Jun 09, 2012, 08:34 pm
The RGB LEDs used are diffused common anode type that I picked up off of eBay.  They have a rated luminous intensity of 8,000mcd at 20mA.

I have not done anything further with the stairs lately.  I have determined that the pressure sensor are not going to work in my setup long term in the way I have them.  I have the pressure sensor centered between 2 stainless plates with a dab of hot glue on either side to focus the pressure on the sensor.  Then I put a dab of hot glue at each corner to hold the plates together.  It works great for a while but then the hot glue starts breaking down with the continuous walking on it.  I've thought of changing from the hot glue to little rubber pads but have decided to use infrared distance sensors instead.

The sensors have a limited range of about 3 feet so going across the stair case will work great.  The pressure sensors use only 2 wires whereas the infrared sensors use 3 wires.  To install these, I have to either hack in these to my existing board or I have to re-create the top board.  For simplicity, I will likely just hack in the sensors to my existing board. 

In my design, there are 3 PCBs to control each of the colors for the LED and the top board has the ATMega IC and the positive connectors for all the LEDs.  If I had to redo this all over again, I would spend the extra money to have a single 2 sided board made to allow me to easily plug each LED into its own connector rather than having to plug each leg of the LED into its own board.  This would make it easier to create something that is marketable to others interested in doing the same thing and would have saved me hours of wiring this up in my closet under the stairs.  But once installed, it has worked flawlessly.

Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Nyo on Jun 09, 2012, 10:52 pm
Can you share some photos of the blocks with leds? I want to use some simple led like you did but I want to put them inside with some sort of "support" that blends with the wall.
thank you
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: CalumEspo on Nov 09, 2012, 12:46 am
Hi,

I have a similar setup, although perhaps a bit more comercially bought than what you seem to have made.. you can take a look here..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEpEUFeC0yo&list=UUHTJmgERXxyAquyOdbmqlpg&index=17&feature=plcp

My question is though, what software do you use to programme and control the lights?

We currently use show magic and its a absolute headache to programme in my opinion!

Thanks

Calum
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Nov 09, 2012, 04:58 am
Nice!  Definitely a step up from what I did with the more powerful LED's. 

Is all the wiring beneath the stairs?  Are those 1W LEDs?  What is controlling the animations?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: CalumEspo on Nov 11, 2012, 09:37 pm
I can't remember the exact spec of the lights we installed but it was something similar to this I believe, http://www.tryka.co.uk/Module1in-ground.htm  .. i will try and find the exact one and post it later.

The stairs are solid concrete, so the lights were installed while they were re-tiled. A cable connects the left to the right, and then each stair runs down behind the skirting board on the right to a cupboard that we built to hold the 27 drivers and DMX controllers. It then integrates into the rest of the LED controlled lights and is controlled by a programme called show magic.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Nov 28, 2012, 04:20 pm
This past weekend I finally got around to changing our the pressure sensors to using a Infrared Proximity Sensor Long Range - Sharp GP2Y0A02YK0F I got off Sparkfun a few months ago.
(https://dlnmh9ip6v2uc.cloudfront.net/images/products/8/9/5/8/08958-03-L_i_ma.jpg)

The range of the sensor is up to 60" which is more than enough to detect someone going onto the staircase.

I added some buffering in the code that does the detection to limit any noise that may occur.  It also allows me to filter for smaller objects going by quickly from triggering the stairs (my dog). 

It is working great and I'm much happier with this setup over using the pressure pads.  A person no longer has to be sure to step in the middle to trigger the lights anymore.

I also added a new animation to the staircase.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Nov 29, 2012, 05:22 pm
Where did you place the sensor? At the top of the stairs or at the bottom or did you get a bunch?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Nov 29, 2012, 06:06 pm

Where did you place the sensor? At the top of the stairs or at the bottom or did you get a bunch?


There is a sensor at both the top and bottom of the staircase.  They positioned so the sensor will detect someone about to go on the staircase and trigger the appropriate animation.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Nov 29, 2012, 10:52 pm
Cool!
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Rageq3a on Nov 30, 2012, 06:12 pm
I'm thinking about doing the same thing and was glad to run across this article. I'm new to all of this and was wondering if you had a schematic that you worked from or did you go from the  TLC5940 data sheet. Also Sparkfun has a TLC5940 breakout board that I was thinking about using in conjunction with the common anode LEDs you used https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10616?, do you have any thoughts on using it?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Nov 30, 2012, 10:17 pm

I'm thinking about doing the same thing and was glad to run across this article. I'm new to all of this and was wondering if you had a schematic that you worked from or did you go from the  TLC5940 data sheet. Also Sparkfun has a TLC5940 breakout board that I was thinking about using in conjunction with the common anode LEDs you used https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10616?, do you have any thoughts on using it?


I created my own schematic using both the ATMega328 datasheet and the TLC5940 datasheet.  

I tested the design and operation on a breadboard before creating the circuit boards.
(http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/6950/breadboardprototype.jpg)

Since trying to create a one layer circuit board to hold all of the IC's and connectors was not really possible without a lot of jumpers, I decided to go with 4 circuit boards with the same type connectors that the arduino uses.

The sparkfun breakout board would be good to use if you want to become familiar with them or don't have a way of etching your own circuit boards.  Just remember that you'll have to buy a bunch of these to control a whole staircase full of RGB lights.  I've actually been thinking of designing a kit to allow DIYers to purchase that will be enough to control 15 stairs with RGB LEDs and will have an arduino integrated.  But this is still a ways off.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Rageq3a on Dec 01, 2012, 06:13 am
A kit would be nice but I only have 8 stairs that I would apply this to which cuts down on the number of boards, and I have a coat closet whose top shelf is just about mid-way up the stairs right next to it. For the different routines I was thinking about incorporating a keypad as well.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: DJDiamondT on Dec 14, 2012, 10:42 am
Hello is it possible to tell me everything that was used. I never done anything close to electronics but I saw this and told the Club that I DJ at and they want me to try and do it. Can you tell me the name and cost of every piece of equipment used and if you are not in the states where can I purchase in the states and how long did this take to configure, test and so on?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Dec 14, 2012, 09:13 pm
OP will have to give you the Bill of Materials and we aren't exactly here to babysit a development. 

If you have absolutely no electronics prototyping or development experience at all, I fear you may make a newbie mistake.  The club owner shouldn't be asking you, but rather some engineer nearby.  Not that I doubt your ability, everybody is able to its just I don't want them to lose faith in you. 

If you want to do this yourself, then I suggest looking into a few things before you try and tackle this as your first project.
Yes you have to read allll of this, but it will help you a lottttt so just bear with me.

First off, you need an arduino or some sort of arduino clone development board.  Many recommend the UNO, and I do as well for you.  Its the most popular and most simple one to understand.

When I started, my brother bought me this book and it helped immensly, I was gonna quit but this book helped make it pretty clear to me on how things worked.
http://www.makershed.com/product_p/9781449309879.htm (http://www.makershed.com/product_p/9781449309879.htm)
It helped out a lot with describing the basics of prototyping with the arduino and coding and everything I needed to know to just get started.
That was 4 years ago, so it may be a little dated, but all the concepts should be the same.
There may be an e-book or a pdf out there of this book too if you can't find a bookstore that carries it or something.

If you can, get all the parts in this kit.  The book is made to go along with a kit and it should work just fine with this one.
http://www.makershed.com/Getting_Started_with_Arduino_Kit_V3_0_p/msgsa.htm (http://www.makershed.com/Getting_Started_with_Arduino_Kit_V3_0_p/msgsa.htm)
Don't buy that product unless you want less hassle and have money to throw around.
You can get all those components at websites like Digi-key and Mouser or even just eBay.

Notes about the above kit:
-The USB cable is USB-A to USB-B, like a printer cable kinda. 
-The deluxe jumper wires are just Male-Male jumper wires
-There are two types of RGB leds, common anode or common cathode.  Not sure which it is, so just get both
-Everything else is straight forward

Once you have gotten all that and have done a few of the stuff in the book, work look over some of these things.

This link is for the external IC, the TLC5940 16-channel PWM LED driver
http://playground.arduino.cc/Learning/TLC5940 (http://playground.arduino.cc/Learning/TLC5940)
Seeing as how you are new to this, i'll explain a bit.  The TLC5940 is a 16-channel constant current led driver with grayscale correction.  Basically what that means is that it can individually control 16 leds.  It is commonly used with RGB leds, like in this project.  NOTE: This driver sinks current, not source, so you will have to have common ANODE RGB LEDS.  (If you don't quite get that, you will through learning from the book, and you can search google. its very well explained.  If you do decide to stick around, you'll probably ask some questions and chances are, you will get a response from Grumpy_Mike.  Hes very knowledgeable and he has a website.  He explains things very nicely.  Link : http://www.thebox.myzen.co.uk/Tutorial/Introduction.html (http://www.thebox.myzen.co.uk/Tutorial/Introduction.html).  There you can learn what the PWM means. 


You will also want to check out http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoToBreadboard (http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoToBreadboard)
This link is a little old, and refers back to the ATmega168, but it is still completely valid.  This would be a more advanced thing to you, something you would do when you have grasped the arduino platform and basic electronics pretty well.
This project is a standalone project, in that it does not have a full arduino board integrated into the project.  It is driven by the microcontroller it is just on its own board and is no longer dependent on the Arduino board to operate.  You will need an extra ATmega328p to do this.


You will also need to look up analog inputs, that is covered in the book though. 
There are a lot of things you need to know to get this done, and I hope the best of luck.  You can ask any questions any time if you decide to pursue this.  I hope you do, because it is really fun.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: marcello.romani on Dec 26, 2012, 05:53 pm
Quote
I never done anything close to electronics


This is definitely _not_ a project to start with. First one blinks a led. Then a few leds. Then a lot of leds. Then one rgb led, then a few rgb leds, then a lot of rgb leds. Meanwhile one learns blink without delay and debouncing, and led sequences, and state-based programming and so on.

Also, a club is a public place, so safety regulations must be taken into account. Say you light up the entire stairs for half an hour and something gets so hot it could start a fire... Pretty scary...

A good consultant is what you need, IMVHO.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Dec 27, 2012, 01:00 am

Quote
I never done anything close to electronics


This is definitely _not_ a project to start with. First one blinks a led. Then a few leds. Then a lot of leds. Then one rgb led, then a few rgb leds, then a lot of rgb leds. Meanwhile one learns blink without delay and debouncing, and led sequences, and state-based programming and so on.

Also, a club is a public place, so safety regulations must be taken into account. Say you light up the entire stairs for half an hour and something gets so hot it could start a fire... Pretty scary...

A good consultant is what you need, IMVHO.


We've already established this.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: marcello.romani on Dec 27, 2012, 01:15 am
Quote
We've already established this.


Hmmm.... maybe I came in too late. Sorry.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: dtokez on Mar 26, 2013, 04:35 pm
I would also be interested in how you mounted the LED's? Did you just use 1 RGB LED per step or more than one? I see that the TLC5940 can sink plenty of current so I'm considering using 2 or 3 per step.

Thanks!
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Mar 26, 2013, 04:59 pm
You might want to check out the tlc5947.  More channels, easier to use.  Only hurdle is mounting it b/c it only comes in surface mount packages.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: dtokez on Mar 27, 2013, 01:36 am

You might want to check out the tlc5947.  More channels, easier to use.  Only hurdle is mounting it b/c it only comes in surface mount packages.


Wow just checked it out, 24 channels on one chip is pretty epic! SMD is not a problem for me to solder but I'm not sure if I could etch some PCB's with that pitch hmmm.

Do you think the standard TLC5940 library would need much tweeking?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Apr 04, 2013, 06:18 am
Sorry for my late response, I'm freaking out with my last non final test at university.

I haven't been able to get them mounted to exactly test them, although through research, It seems that you don't even really need a library for them.  They are basically just giant shift registers except instead of shifting on or off, you shift specific values between 0 - 1023 or w/e it calls for.  Then you just latch the values in and bam, you got purple or w/e is connected to the channels.

Only problem is that if you put a lot of chips in the daisy-chain line, then you may need a faster processor depending on how fast you want to update the values
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: codlink on Apr 04, 2013, 10:06 pm
Shot in the dark here, but I got some TLC5947s as samples from TI.  Does anyone have a simple test sketch for them?  I sent out the PCB design for the 5947 a few days ago, so I won't be able to play with it for a couple of weeks. 
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Apr 10, 2013, 01:10 am
Found this on google http://www.razorconcepts.net/tlc5947.html (http://www.razorconcepts.net/tlc5947.html)

It mentions the code here http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.razorconcepts.net/files/tlc5947.txt (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.razorconcepts.net/files/tlc5947.txt)

It looked pretty crappy so I took the liberty to put it in a sketch although I haven't verified it b/c I have yet to buy a toaster to make my circuit boards to use these chips.  I've attached the file.

Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: codlink on Apr 10, 2013, 02:00 am
Thanks funky, I will take a look at it.  I haven't received my boards yet.  For some reason, OSH is taken it's time...

+1
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Apr 15, 2013, 03:10 pm
How long has it been? OSH usually take 15-20 days for me.
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: harleydk on Apr 16, 2013, 12:59 pm

Here is a photo of the breadboard design:


That's the most colorful breadboard design I've ever seen :-) Beautiful. I bet it's going to make you feel heavy-hearted when you have to pull it apart ;-)
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: funkyguy4000 on Apr 16, 2013, 07:35 pm


Here is a photo of the breadboard design:


That's the most colorful breadboard design I've ever seen :-) Beautiful. I bet it's going to make you feel heavy-hearted when you have to pull it apart ;-)


Pulling those things apart always sucks.


Anyway, Cranium, has there been any updates to your project?
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: phatback on Jun 11, 2013, 03:37 am


Quote
I never done anything close to electronics


This is definitely _not_ a project to start with. First one blinks a led. Then a few leds. Then a lot of leds. Then one rgb led, then a few rgb leds, then a lot of rgb leds. Meanwhile one learns blink without delay and debouncing, and led sequences, and state-based programming and so on.

Also, a club is a public place, so safety regulations must be taken into account. Say you light up the entire stairs for half an hour and something gets so hot it could start a fire... Pretty scary...

A good consultant is what you need, IMVHO.


We've already established this.


Wow, don't be a jerk about it.  You don't have to have to be the only person to address this.  He was only trying to give some FRIENDLY advice....
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: wediggers on Jun 13, 2013, 12:16 am
I am glad to see some of you have done this as I am planing to do a similar thing in my house but was thinking of using a Long Range Ultrasonic Rangefinder (like in link below or hacking a cheap ultrasonic tape measure) at one end facing up or down the staircase so i could could get away with only one sensor (i have not tested this part yet)

Then using a 96ch driver board (like in the link) to control all the RGB leds. i have a lot of steps so would be to many to do without shift registers or some multiplexing so i figured i would just keep it simple and use the 96ch board as it has lots of channels and you can run several feet of strip on each channel (i may use flex strips and put one under the lip of each step shining down into a piece of plexi glass with some designs or words carved into them) or do modules like in your video

Then use an Arduino running the Fast Spi Library (to make things easier) as i am not that good at coding yet.
but if anyone has tried using a range finder yet i would love to hear if it works for detecting people.

Links
Long Range Ultrasonic Rangefinder (at one top or bottom of stairs)
http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_2157394_-1 (http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_2157394_-1)

96ch (SPI (TTL) Decoder 32x RGB Ch) (one of these can do up to 32 RGB stairs so i will have some extra channels)
http://usledsupply.com/shop/rgb-32-spi-dmx-decoder.html (http://usledsupply.com/shop/rgb-32-spi-dmx-decoder.html)

Fast SPI Library for Arduino and 595 shift register (I think you have to use the old one as i am not sure the new one supports the 595 decoder)
https://code.google.com/p/fastspi/ (https://code.google.com/p/fastspi/)

Here is a video from the guy that made the library
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtC0H4uXnlA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtC0H4uXnlA)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgKYlv2lRyo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgKYlv2lRyo)
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: snake_eyes on Sep 05, 2013, 11:50 pm
I didn't realize that I referenced your video in my post.  http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=186116.0

I'm looking for assistance in starting my project.  Do you have any recommendations as to what materials to purchase?


Finished up the stairs this weekend.  Pressure senors installed and calibrated.  LEDs mounted.  Light sensor installed and calibrated.  All that is left is to tidy up the mess in the closet under the stairs. 

$2/year to operate this cool night light. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6cYmr3RBnI
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: Cranium on Dec 17, 2014, 03:25 am
The stair lights are still working flawlessly after over two years!  The only work I've had to do is to re-attach some of the blocks with the LEDs on the walls after my dog runs up the stairs and inadvertently knocks one off.  These are only hot glued on so they are easy to re-attach.  :)
Title: Re: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video
Post by: JahFyahh on Aug 06, 2015, 02:16 pm
I am fairly new to working with these LED driving chips (WS2803, M5451, TLC5947s & such) and I am trying to get a handle on them, but I can not find a good sketch to breakdown. Can somebody please post one with a bit of an explanation? I basicly want to use the WS2803 because i wil not be needing a voltage regulator with that one (or so i've read).