Interactive LED panels are giant circuit boards filled superbright LEDs that respond in a complex, subtle, and gentle fashion to stimulus provided by human interaction. They can be used as interactive art on your wall, or tucked under glass to make your own Interactive LED Coffee Table. The best way to get the idea is to watch a video and see how the panels behave.
(That's an 8-panel setup in the video. Incidentally, the video showing our previous model panels-- in dull orange not black-- has also been very popular, presumably because of the cat.)
The LEDs in our panels are normally dim and constant-- the most you'll see in a dark room is a faint glow of twinkling like the night sky. But when you set your glass down on an interactive table, the table "sees" the motion, and induces a slight ripple starting in that location that can spread out to other areas as it dissipates. The overall effect is a bit like touching a pool of water, in that your local disturbance turns into an overall gentle rippling, and eventually settles down. It is decidedly not a disco floor-- there is not any blinking, programmed oscillations, or for that matter, any digital electronics at all-- the circuitry is completely analog for improved aesthetics and reduced eyestrain.
The panels work well under clear or frosted glass or plastic surfaces, and work in light conditions from darkness to sunlight.
Our circuit board panels are black, 12" x 12"(~30.5 cm) square, with 80 superbright blue LEDs arranged on a regular grid. Each circuit board panel has four motion sensor nodes, each of which controls 20 of the LEDs. So, a 6-panel setup covers six square feet of area (1x6 or 2x3), has 24 sensors and 480 LEDs, while an 8-panel version has 32 sensor nodes and 640 LEDs. We have also added new plug-in plug-out connectors to each board edge making it easy to reconfigure the panels in any rectangular arrangement.
Interactive panels are essentially stand-alone devices. They require power to be provided but no computer or other external control is needed. Neighboring panels that are seamlessly connected together through their edge connectors can share power and communications between sensor nodes.
Our standard power supplies (see below) can provide power to up to 12 panels. Larger numbers of panels can also be connected together if you wish to build a larger display; instructions on how to do this ship with the panels. You mount these panels on a wall, in a coffee table, or on facing sides of a hallway, for an interesting art project.
Interactive LED Panel Kits. These soldering kits [?] include circuit boards, components, and clear step-by-step printed instructions. You should have some experience soldering and allow 1-2 hours per panel. Power supplies are sold separately; see below.
Our panels are energy efficient and typically use 1 W or less in the steady state-- under 8 W for a full 8-panel table top. (Most of this power is used to operate the sensor network.) At maximum amplitude when heavily stimulated, power consumption can reach as high as 5 W per panel, or 40 W for an 8-panel set.
About power supplies
Power supplies are sold separately from Interactive LED Panel Kits. The panels, once assembled, require a regulated 24 V DC power supply, with capacity of at least 200 mA per panel. A maximum of 12 panels can be powered from a single power supply; the inter-panel connections are designed for 2.5 A maximum. By adding extra power supplies, you can power larger installations and/or split your panel set into separate groups that run independently. (You may also need Extra Switch + Jack sets, see below.) The power supplies are compact and energy efficient (Energy Star Level IV compliant) laptop-grade 24 V DC adapters. Our "Large" power supply (actually quite compact) powers from 1-12 panels. Small US and international versions are also available, and power from 1-3 panels. Please see the product pages for the large, small US, and small international power supplies for more information and to purchase.
Extra Switch + Jack for soldering kits
Interactive LED Panel soldering kits come with one DC power jack and one power switch, for kits up to 12 panels in size. (For kits larger than 12 panels, one jack and switch set is provided for every 12 panels.) So, if you get (for example) an eight-panel kit and want to make two smaller four-panel Interactive LED end tables, you'll need (A) two power supplies, but also (B) an extra power jack and power switch for the other table. Click here for more information and the purchase link.
About our kits
We take great pride in our kit designs; we believe in clear instructions, unambiguous labeling, goodies, and including a few extras of most small, easy to lose and/or break components. Assembly of the boards is pretty straightforward if you like to solder; it basically requires stuffing the components in the boards and soldering (a lot of) easy through-hole components. You should have prior experience soldering and basic soldering tools. Read more about what to expect in our kits here. Kits include superbright blue LEDs, or are available in white here. If you plan to use your own LEDs instead of ours, please see also this note.
You may also be interested in: