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RGB LED matrices are a common project for hobbyists who want to experiment with light displays, but often are either expensive, or restrictive in their size and configuration. The aim of this project was to create a reconfigurable display that could work as its own stand alone piece or as an interactive display controlled by a console using an assortment of Joysticks and Buttons. The display could be arranged in a variety of layouts from a matrix formation to a more static decorative linear strip.

By attaching an assortment of Audio Sensors, Buttons and Joysticks the display could be switched between interactive and automatic modes, with configurable colours, effects, modes, speeds, brightness and patterns.

Users can switch between modes and configurations using the MODE and CONFIG buttons, using the Joystick and SELECT button to make their choices. The users current choice is shown on the 16x2 LCD screen at the center of the console.

This project involved a LED strip comprised of 250 LEDs but the code can be easily altered to allow for a strip of any size.


Games: Games can be played using the led matrix as a screen
Noise: LEDs light up according to environmental noise volume and frequency.
Colour: LEDs used as a light displaying a predefined colour palette.
Rain: Falling Rain Light Effects
Mode Configurations

Colour - Sets color palette of strip
Pride Flag - Rainbow
Trans Flag - Blue, Pink, White
Fire - Red, Orange, Yellow
Light - White
Style - Sets strip display effect
Block - If in mode color, the colours of the LEDs remain constant, in mode noise, it causes all LEDs to be set the most recent noise colour value, creating a flashing effect.
Shimmer - Alternate LEDs oscillate, fading between on and off.
Track - If in mode colour, the colour scheme for the LEDs moves across the strip. In mode noise it causes the noise colours to travel across the strip as a moving wave.
Rain Effect - How the rain patterns are generated
Random - New rain stripes are randomly positioned, and the pattern varies.
Constant - The rain pattern repeats.
Game - Which game can you play on the matrix
Snake - Viva la Nokia, only playable when the strip is in matrix configuration
Effect Color - What source for color do the effects use?
Color Set - Effects (e.g. rain) take a random colour from the set colour palette.
Noise Freq - Effects when generated take the colour corresponding to the current noise freq.
Noise Vol - Effects when generated take the colour corresponding to the current noise volume.
Size - How is the display arranged?
250x1 Strip
50x5 Matrix
25x10 Matrix
Speed and Brightness

Controlled via turnable analog potentiometers, to change the brightness of the LEDs and the rate the display updates. This largely impacts the intensity of the light effects and difficulty of the games.

Strobe & LED Status

The consoles upper left Switch allows the LEDs to be turned off, as an option for when the display is being configured. The lower left Switch turns on the Strobe Effect, flashing the display at the set speed.”

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