Arduino Light Show Project
What is the Arduino Light Show Project?

The Arduino Light Show Project is an ongoing project with the objective of creating a stage of brilliant LEDs and other interesting elements to perform to music, all powered by Arduino.

The experiments with LEDs and Arduino first began in 2012. As the experiments continued, stages were created, improved, and redesigned. During the major stage reconfigurations, the show evolved from a simple row of single-color LEDs to more elaborate stages that have included RGB LEDs, servo motors, and water fountains.

Watch the Shows!

This is a full listing of all Arduino Light Show performances and experiments, sorted in order from newest to oldest.

Read notes about the different versions by clicking on the version number. Click here to expand/hide all of the notes. You can read it like a progressing story by starting from the bottom and working your way up the list.

Version 8

Christmas Light Show 2016

Version 7.0.1

Version 7.0.1 was just a short experiment using my new shift register boards which breakout the Output Enable pins of the shift registers. This allows for some PWM control across the LEDs. I only managed to do a small sequence good enough to share on Instagram, but I'm glad to have experimented with brightness control and fading effects on the old v7 stage (minus the fountains). Each color of the "towers" is connected to its own shift register board. All LEDs on the servo motor "spotlights" share their own board.
How We Do It (Instagram)

Version 7

Version 7 of the Light Show combines various elements from past versions to create the largest version to date. These elements include: Fountains (V6), servo "spotlights" (V2), backdrop of towers (V3, somewhat similar idea), and shift registers (V4, though I did not use the ShiftPWM library).

There are three versions of the "Make a Wish" performance:
"Make a Wish": This is the performance I liked the most out of the three videos. I still posted the other two because there are still faults with this one and, together, they paint a better picture of the show I wanted to make.

"Make a Wish (Alt View)": This is a second video of the show taken at a different angle.

"Make a Wish (New Nozzles)": This performance was recorded after new nozzles were installed on the fountains. These nozzles allowed the fountains to shoot higher and more reliably. However, the thinner stream of water did not carry the light of the LEDs very well. This version has some final tweaks to the show. See if you can spot the differences!
Make a Wish (New Nozzles)
Make a Wish (Alt View)
Make a Wish

Version 6

Version 6 was the first attempt at a water fountain show. Most of this version was simple experimentation with using water pumps and finding methods of waterproofing components and connections. The only performance to debut under this version was Friend Like Me.
Friend Like Me
Arduino Fountain Show Preview
Water Fountain Experiment 3
Water Fountain Experiment 2
Water Fountain Experiment 1

Version 5.2

Version 5.2 is a small update to the new row of LEDs added in 5.2. The LED bar was redesigned to use RGB LEDs but were not individually controllable. The new LED bar was also soldered which would make it more durable.
Can't Hold Us
Radioactive

Version 5.1

Version 5.1 brought a new feature to the show. A row of white LEDs were installed above a stage that were individually controlled and were rotated by a servo motor.
Jealous

Version 5

Version 5 of the show was a recreation of Version 2 but with a soldered set of LEDs as a replacement to the LEDs on the breadboard.
Night Sky
Joy to the World

Version 4

Version 4 did not continue with the experiments in the previous version, but it was very similar to Version 2. This version got very technical with experiments with shift registers and serial communications. This is the only version where I never got around with making an actual show with music, but what is presented in the videos is interesting to some.
Show Control - Visual Basic + Arduino
Pattern Sample
Arduino ShiftPWM Test

Version 3

Version 3 of the Light Show continued on with experiments in new stage elements. These light shows included backdrops that were lit by internal RGB LEDs.
Christmas Special 2013
Let It Go
Halloween '13

Version 2

Version 2 of the Light Show introduced servo motors into the project. These servo motors fitted with RGB LEDs added a unique element that made the shows much more interesting.
Treasure
CP24
Fireflies
Strength of a Thousand Men
What A Wonderful World

Version 1

These are my very first experiments with Arduino. The reason I got the Ardruino in the first place was specifically to play with LEDs. I never really expected to go along with it for this long. Have a look at how it all started.
Testing 1
Testing 2
You are a peace sign and a firework, so call me maybe.
Have good time on floor, no speak Americano
Starlight Spectacular
Pictures
Resources

Want to see the code? The Code Directory has some code files available for download.

Around the Web

My blog has progress updates for all of the light shows, in addition to other projects.

The What A Wonderful World show was chosen as the Featured Community Project in July 2013.

Also in July 2013, the Light Show Project was featured on the Hackalizer blog.

In March 2014, Adafruit featured the Light Show Project for Arduino Day 2014.