Archive | WLED

My lantern collection

I have over 50 animated lanterns, which were made using tissue paper and various frames such as:

  • Bamboo
  • Grapevines
  • 10 AWG wire with brazing
  • Round reed
  • Chicken wire

They have been on exhibition at the following venues:

  • North Delta Luminary Festival
  • Renfrew Stillmoon Festival
  • Deer Lake Luminescent Art
  • Secret Lantern Society Solstice Festival
  • Maple Ridge Celebrate the Night
  • Surrey Garden Light Festival
  • Scouts Canada Watershed Fun Night

Click on images in the article to see an animated version. The animations are customizable via Wi-Fi.

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Addressable LED options for lanterns

There are several commercial and non-commercial options available to control LED displays. These range from small portable displays running on a dedicated microcontroller to large commercial ones that are controlled by custom applications running on a dedicated computer and multiple controllers. WLED is a non-comercial (open source) program and is the probably the best available for portable displays as it supports a wide variety of animations/colour palettes and can be controlled by your cell phone over WiFi. In order to make your own WLED displays, you will need a laptop/desktop and:

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WLED and FastLED

WLED is a relatively new platform for communicating with and animating LED’s without requiring a PC to drive them. As a FastLED afficionado, I’ve been developing my own code to communicate with several displays. The summer of 2019 was spent implementing an MQTT infrastructure that would support my FastLED sketches and after MUCH trial and error, I got it to work as shown here:

As a result of the challenges I faced, this effort took several months and I still didn’t accomplish my goal at the end.

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