Need help on a project.

First off I want to say that I understand this project may be a little beyond me for my first project, but I have 4 months to learn it. I have a strong background in programming and electronics. I am not a kid trying to make a pretty thing, I am an adult that would like to learn. Sorry if i come off as an ass, but I have received a lot of negativity about my ability to complete this project in other forums.

Anyway what I am trying to do is build a pair of glasses with an LED matrix of say around 150 standard SMD LED's. The glasses are going to be worn by myself at an electronic music festival in June. What I need help with is which LED's to get, how to and what I need to wire that many LED's to the Arduino, and what I can expect to use for a power supply. I would love any ideas you might have about how to do the wiring so its not out of control with 100's of wires everywhere.

Here is a video of what I am trying to accomplish.

I am not interested in having as many programs as the glasses in the video, but I would like maybe 3 or 4 if possible. I would like them to fade in and out at different speeds of my choice, I would like them to scan from one side to another (set speed is fine), all on or off, and finally scrolling text. Also if there are any programmers out there that want to help me with the project that would be amazing!

Thanks for all the help.

The glasses you show seem to be a (sparse) matrix of 8 rows and 24 columns. The hard part will be keeping the row wires from shorting against the column wires. The glasses shown seem to be laser-cut PCB with the horizontal traces etched and solder-masked. The surface-mount LED's have one end soldered to the PCB and the other end connected with very fine wire.

I agree, treat it as a regular 24X8 matrix (with some leds missing is some columns of course). Your sketch just needs two parts, a part that supplies the next display pattern and delays the amount of time until you want to change to the next pattern display. The second part is a outputing the scan data at a update time that is faster then an eye can detect change, I used a timer interrupt libarary to help with that. On my 5x5x5 led cube the matrix is scanned such that all leds are updated every 10 milliseconds and that seems fast enough to not be able to detect any scanning artifacts.

Electrically you have to decide how you will control led current to the correct 'balance' between bright enough for good display and below safe led maximum forward current limit. I like constant current output shift registers which I used in my led cube.


You can get small LEDs like these and glue them them onto glasses. Then have 30 guage wirewrap wire to connect them all together. You will need 8 strands going across, and 24 down. The 8 rows could be sourced from Arduino pins thru appropriate current limit resistors. As you are sinking up to 160mA down each column, you will need 3 buffer chips such as ULN2803 to sink the column current, one column at a time. Surface mount LEDs come in lots of sizes, see what fits well on the glasses you want to use.

Alternatively, drive each column high from an arduino pin/resistor, then sink the current for each row one at a time. Advantage is you only need 8 current sinks, but they have to handle up to 480mA, vs 160mA.

This forum is amazing, thank you so much. I have lots of questions, but i am at work so i will ask them when i have time.

Thanks Visivopro