Mini lightshow project ideas

  • My violin instructor leads a strings group of mostly kids and some adults. They put on an annual concert for the community, which is always well attended. I have been speaking with him about possibly creating a small light show for their next concert and he is very interested in the idea. In the past he has strung small lights on the bows of the instruments (Violins and Cellos), which the audience really enjoyed. I would like to do something a little more advanced and either use sensors on the bows with programmable rgb lights (along the lines of a neopixal led light), that would change colors base on the frequency of the note being played by a single violin, cello, or base. (A=440hz, B=493hz, C=523hz, etc...), or I would like to use the same approach to create an LED fiber, ceiling light show. I would like to make it appear as if the lights are flowing or dancing with the music. In my mind, I imagine using a controller sending out commands to the individual sensors, based on the readings of a single sensor picking up on the note being played.
    of course, there is no budget for this but I do have a HomeAssistant controller box I can use. What other sensor solutions would be required to produce this project? I do know we will want to control the intensity of the lights as well as color.
    Thank you for sharing your ideas!

  • Contest Winner

    For light shows I would look into DMX. Maybe you can use my sensors to make it wireless. But since it's a lot of data I guess MySensors might not be the obvious choice to go for.

  • On the lines that @TheoL was talking, here is some information on doing DMX with Arduino.

  • Another thing that might be cool would be to figure out a way to do something with EL wire. If you are unfamiliar with EL wire, the EL is for ElectroLuminescent. You can get many different colors of EL wire and a controller from SparkFun.
    And here is an example of something someone did with EL wire.

  • Contest Winner

    Have a look at DMX protcol it uses a 250K baud rate. I really don't think that MySensors will be able to support all of that traffic. WiFi is a better solution if you want to go the wireless route. James Bruton uses DMX to controls his robots. You might want to watch this video on you tube.

  • @mrhutchinsonmn
    I really like the idea! Would be great to see a video once you've got it working.

    To get some idea about the scale of the project: How many instruments are involved?

  • Looks like I will need to tone things down a bit because of time limitations and complexities. I will revisit my original concept after the upcoming concert, when I will not be under time restraints.

    I have decided I will use the following lights: WS2812B LED Strip DC 5V Black White PCB Smart Addressable Pixel WS2812 IC 30, controlled wirelessly.

    My plan would be to create a single control unit (rather than a sensor triggered by frequencies) that will send a wireless signal (numeric value 1-30) back to my Homeassistant control box which in-turn will signal each sensor device to execute a corresponding light show event. Homeassistant would be configured to execute code commands similar to what I have below.

    void startShow(int i) {
        case 0: colorWipe(strip.Color(0, 0, 0), 50);    // Black/off
        case 1: colorWipe(strip.Color(0, 43, 0), 50);  // Green
        case 2: colorWipe(strip.Color(34, 34, 0), 50);  // Yellow
        case 3: colorWipe(strip.Color(43, 0, 0), 50);  // Red
        case 4:
              theaterChase(strip.Color(127,   0,   0), 450); // Red

    That all seems doable, correct? Couple questions: I need to run this all by 9 volt (needs to last 2 hr). What would be the best board to use (Still a nano?) ? Is the NRF24L01+ 2.4GHz radio the best wireless solution to use in this case? We will be lighting up 25 violin bows as per the pic
    Pic link

  • Hardware Contributor

    When you get trained you can pimp up the guitars like the one in this video, it's based on a nano 😄

    LORD OF THE LOST - "Six Feet Underground" Guitar Tutorial – 04:50
    — Lord Of The Lost

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