Stranger Things Arduino Powered Light Wall

Inspiration & Design

Maybe you haven't seen Stranger Things on Netflix yet? If this is the case, I implore to stop reading this, go watch it and then come back. I'll wait.

Oh my, it was so good right? I didn't grow up during the 80's but something about this show gave me waves of nostalgia of staying up too late reading horror and staying out too late riding bikes with my brother wondering what kinds of beasts would get us if we didn't get home before dark.

I especially liked the scenes with Winona Ryder's character Joyce Byers. Watching her figure out that Will could communicate with her through the lights and then stringing up the light wall was probably my favorite part of the series. I haven't really worked with hardware electrical projects before outside of tutorials but I'd seen a lot of programmable holiday light projects so I figured I could probably build something similar.

The wall that I made is a 13.5"x11" inch piece of cardboard with floral scrapbook paper glued to the front. I poked holes through the cardboard that I pushed the LEDs through and then taped down on the back. I attached a small button switch for easy access to open and close the circuit.

The code runs on an Adafruit Flora running Arduino software and the whole thing is powered by 3 AA batteries.

Components

  1. Arduino Flora
  2. One strand of 12 mm flat weather resistant pixels
  3. Small weather resistant enclosure
  4. 3xAA battery pack
  5. 3 AA batteries
  6. On/Off switch
  7. JST 2-pin cable
  8. Shrink Cable or Electrical Tape
  9. Cardboard
  10. Mini plastic zip ties
  11. Floral paper
  12. black paint

Tools

  1. Soldering Iron
  2. Wire Cutters

Assembly

Step 1: Assemble Display Board

First I figured out how I wanted to display my lights. I decided to string them back and forth and then push the LEDs through the cardboard so only the lights would show. Once I decided where I wanted each light I glued down the paper and cut holes through the card board and paper.

Step 2: Soldering

Here's the soldering I did to wire everything up:

TEST THE CONNECTIONS AND TEST THE CODE BEFORE SOLDERING FURTHER

Code

A = 24
B = 23
C = 22
D = 21
E = 20
F = 19
G = 18
H = 17
I = 8
J = 9
K = 10
L = 11
M = 12
N = 13
O = 14
P = 15
Q = 16
R = 7
S = 6
T = 5
U = 4
V = 3
W = 2
X = 1
Y = 0
Z = unassigned

Here's the code!

Improvements

I like to call the back side of the panel "the upside down" because it's such a tangled nightmare:

If you order all the materials today you probably have time to build your own in time for Halloween!

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