Take 540 addressable LEDs, a Teensy 3.2, an OctoWS2811 adapter, six months of free time and a hell of a lot of talent, and you too could make a giant sphere of light ready to dazzle hordes of music festival goers.

This project was created by a Reddit user and uploaded to the DIY section of the site, in which they comment on the origin of the project:

It all started with an idea. What if I made a totem with a ton of LEDs? I did some research on the geometry of geodesic spheres and created a quick mock up in CAD. Originally I was looking at 1 LED per panel. But 3 LEDs per panel seemed to look a lot better. And it would give me a lot more resolution to work with.

Thus began the creative process that resulted in “SOL CRUSHER”, but before we look at how it was made, let’s see it in action.

WARNING: you’re about to see  540 LEDs going off with 150 watts of power. Don’t click that play button if you have a history of epilepsy, are prone to getting light-sensitive headaches, or just dropped any psychedelics.

Starting off from the idea of creating a geodisc sphere with 3 LEDs per panel, the creator commissioned 225 custom circuit boards from a Chinese company.

These were linked up to a Teensy with a OctoWS2811 adapter to control animations, and powered by four 10 000 mAh 22.2V LiPo batteries.

Hidden behind the panels is a complex structure that wouldn’t look out of place as a work-in-progress shot of the Death Star. There’s also a lot of handy 3D printed parts.


We highly suggest checking out that build log by following the link below, but we want to point out a really great little detail here.

Instead of regular soldering, the creator used solder paste and hot air. It’s quite magical to see in action, as the hot air instantly completes a solder. We’ve spent uncountable numbers of hours fiddling with hot pieces of metal and solid solder, so seeing such a simple process really amazes us.

The final 15 inch (38,1 centimetre) LED sphere is now up and running. The creator is also accepting submissions for animations to be run on the totem. Check the links below for more info.



[Source – /r/DIY]