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Welcome to my "LED Hexagon" lighting project, interconnecting light up hexagons. Lately I've seen a few different versions of these lighting projects hitting the market but they all have one thing in common... the price. Each hexagon here costs just a few dollars and doesn't sacrifice on the quality or features of the ones available on the market! In addition they are highly customizable and not restricted to just my hexagon shape.

View my video here for help with setup I'll do my best to explain each part here.

Features:

  • Easy magnet connection
  • Simple easy design
  • Simple circuit
  • Customizable layout
  • Customizable led pattern
  • Low cost per hexagon

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Below I will list everything you need with the quantity per hexagon beside it.

  1. ATTINY85 - one per hexagon
  2. 10k Resistor - three per hexagon
  3. 1k Resistor - two per hexagon
  4. IC Socket - one per hexagon (this is not required but if code on the Attiny needs changing this makes it a lot easier)
  5. Ws2812B LED - twelve LED's per hexagon
  6. Neodymium magnet - eighteen per hexagon
  7. 2N3904 Transistor - Two per hexagon
  8. Proto board`
  9. 5v Power Supply - Only one required (will discuss the amp rating required further in the tutorial)
  10. Dc Female connector - Only one required
  11. Super Glue
MaraCreates4 months ago
Wow, great tutorial, thank you so much for taking the time and sharing your instructions!
wither08074 months ago
Your light modules are amazing! What tool did you use to melt the wires to the components?
FlawedDesign (author)  wither08074 months ago
Thanks so much means a lot! Umm a little unsure what you mean but I used a soldering iron to solder all the components together
alcurb4 months ago
Nice project.

I always wanted to buy a few Nanoleaf kits, but they are prohibitively expensive and your solution is far more cost efficient.

One thing I noticed, in your pictures of the lit hexagons, that there are 'hot spots' where the LEDs are located. I'm not sure if one would be able to notice that when looking at it directly. Seems that one would, especially when the brightness is turned down. Is there a way to mitigate the hot spots so that the light is spread evenly across the surface?

Here's an idea, LCD screens that are edge-lit as most are, have a film that evenly disperses the light across the entire surface of the screen. Maybe that is something that could be exploited for this project. To reduce cost, find an electronics junk recycler and buy up a bunch of non-working monitors to harvest the special film. Then the film can be cut to shape and applied to the interior of the hexagons.
FlawedDesign (author)  alcurb4 months ago
Hey thanks for the post! So the real solution here is... well nothing. Unfortunately for me and my videos and photos I had to use my phone camera and whilst it's not bad it created these bright spots ... I tried to minimise this keeping the brightness as low as possible also creating less light flow.
However if you were worried you could diffuse the light more with a different infill on the clear part or add paper as I've seen that diffuse very well. Or even add more leds
zootalaws4 months ago
Nice job!
rocket radhi4 months ago
Eye catching looks
prnet4 months ago
Awesome project. It's a super cool idea. Thanks for sharing with us!
FlawedDesign (author)  prnet4 months ago
Thanks so much! This project worked out so well I couldn't resist sharing it! Means a lot people enjoy it, means I can keep on doing this
BigjBehr prnet4 months ago
You did a fine job of explaining how to calculate the current
required for each hexagon. Then you displayed a lack of understanding
of how PWM driving of LEDs works. If you measure the current draw
with an ammeter you are getting the average current, not the peak
current. When an LED is driven by PWM the LED will draw the full 20mA
for as long as it is powered on. PWM allows you to set how long the
LED is on for in a fixed window of time. The longer the LED is on,
the brighter it appears to the human eye. If you were to use optical
equipment to measure the brightness, you would see that the LED has a
constant brightness, no matter the PWM on time. PWM is a trick used
to fool the human eye into thinking that the LED is dimming.



My main point here
is that no matter the perceived brightness, the LEDs always draw the
same amount of current, just for a variable amount of time. Therefore
your power supply should always be capable of supplying the
calculated current for all of the LEDs that you are using. If you do
not then the 5V line will drop when the maximum current of the power supply is exceeded.
This could cause random momentary errors.


If you insist on
using an under powered power supply then add large bypass capacitors
to each hexagon. Something on the order of 500uf 10V electrolytic cap
or a 5V supercap should do it. Then the capacitors can supply the
extra current when needed and charge when the PWM turns the LEDs off.


You need to use an
oscilloscope with a current probe to see the peak current draw when
the PWM lights up the LEDs. Bottom line here is that your power supply and wiring should be capable of supplying the full calculated current or suffer the consequences.

FlawedDesign (author)  BigjBehr4 months ago
Hey there thanks for the explanation! I love to learn this stuff!
prnet BigjBehr4 months ago
I maybe think that the reply is
addressed to the author of the project. I simply added a comment of thanks, this is not my project of course