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Topic: My RGB LED Stairs Illumination video (Read 36498 times) previous topic - next topic


We've already established this.

Hmmm.... maybe I came in too late. Sorry.


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.



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.
Accelerate to 88 miles per hour.


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?


Apr 04, 2013, 06:18 am Last Edit: Apr 04, 2013, 06:19 am by funkyguy4000 Reason: 1
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
Accelerate to 88 miles per hour.


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. 


Found this on google 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

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.

Accelerate to 88 miles per hour.


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...



How long has it been? OSH usually take 15-20 days for me.
Accelerate to 88 miles per hour.


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 ;-)
My hopefully helpful blog at technicalstuffhopefullyuseful.blogspot.com


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?
Accelerate to 88 miles per hour.


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....


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.

Long Range Ultrasonic Rangefinder (at one top or bottom of stairs)

96ch (SPI (TTL) Decoder 32x RGB Ch) (one of these can do up to 32 RGB stairs so i will have some extra channels)

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)

Here is a video from the guy that made the library


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. :)



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.  :)

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