When we decided to do a light painting session again for the July 3rd event, we knew that we were going to have to take it up a notch. Inspired by the excellent Pixelstick, we created our own programmable LED wand for a fraction of the price. To be fair, our version lacks most of the advanced functionality, but for a quick (a couple of hours) and cheap (under $40) build, the results were pretty impressive. Below you will find Dominic's build notes, as well as links to our code and images from the session.


A simple cheap light wand for time lapse photography

This is for controlling a strip of 50 neopixels or ws2812s with several preprogrammed animations. Using about 5$ in parts for the board and 20$ or so for the remaining materials.

Board Parts:

  • ATTiny85 ~$1
  • L7805 5V voltage regulator ~$.50
  • 9V Battery depends on the brand
  • 9V Battery connector ~$.50
  • momentary/toggle switch x2 ~$1

Wand Parts:

  • 20mm x 20mm 80/20 aluminum x profile extrusion ~$10 size will depend on led spacing etc...
  • neopixel/ws2812 strip ~$15

To program the ATTinys follow the tutroial written by the High-Low Tech guys over at MIT: http://highlowtech.org/?p=1695

This program uses the bounce 2 libary found here: https://github.com/thomasfredericks/Bounce2

I also slightly changed the adafruit neopixel library to give it an easy color structure to work with but the normal library will work as long as you change all the uses of the color structure


Click the above image to see more of the illuminating results.