300 bulb light matrix

Hi all,
For a restaurant I'm designing, I have a ceiling with about 300 bulb lights. I would love to be able to programm them like a led-matrix.
Any idea if this is even remotely possible with an arduino and this many lights?



Right... You can daisy-chain [u]shift registers[/u] to control/address an almost unlimited number of outputs.

What kind of "light bulbs". With regular AC light bulbs you'll need a relay for each one. I'd recommend solid state relays because a regular electro-mechanical relay will need a driver circuit. (Although, you can by "relay boards" that have multiple relays and drivers built-in.)

If you are using high-power LEDs, each LED will need a driver. ("LED light bulbs" work just like regular light bulbs so you can use a relay.)

Obviously, it's going to get expensive when you start multiplying by 300. So, I'd recommend you start by experimenting one light and the Blink Example. Then maybe experiment with a couple of shift registers and some LEDs, before you buy a bunch of parts.

Make sure your electrical circuits can handle it. 300 10-Watt bulbs could blow a circuit breaker.

And, just the wiring of 300 lights & relays, etc., will be time consuming. I did a project with 48 hand-wired LEDs and it "took forever".

Check out this ceiling light matrix display at Sparkfun. You can play Pong with it!

Are the lightbulbs already in? If you could use a huge array of WS2811's (they make some strings with a diffuser and 3 LEDs per light on the string, run off 12v - these would look wonderful), that would let you program the colors and brightness too....