Modular lighting system
Programmable RGBW LED tubes
The bachelor course in Interior Architecture of SUPSI took part in the 2018 edition of designer Saturday in Langenthal in Switzerland with the atelier project titled "temporary space". The project consisted in a temporary and modular station that could be set up in any space and be adapted to different user scenarios.
My contribution to the project has been to build a custom modular programmable RGBW LED tube system that is expandable to adapt to the use of the station.
SUPSI Interior Architecture bachelor
designer'saturday Langenthal 2018
- 3D printing
The system works with RGBW neopixels LEDs strips that are mounted inside white opaque acrylic tubes closed with 3D printed covers that host the mounting mechanism and the XLR connectors that allow the connection of multiple tubes in series to expand the lighting system.
Every single tube contains 54 independent programmable RGBW (with dedicated white led for better efficiency and light output), mounded half on one side of the internal flat aluminum bar and half on the other.
Those LEDs are connected in series, so by connecting multiple tubes one after the other, the amount of LEDs on the modular strip keeps increasing.
The data passing in the cables is quite simple, the GND, the +5V, and the Data information on one line alone. In total, only three cables are needed.
From the coding perspective, I used an Arduino Mega to manage change and adapt tubes. With a simple interface using some potentiometers, the visitors could change the intensity of each color channel.
The 3D printed parts have been designed with Fusion 360 and printed with the Formfutura ABSpro flame retardant filament (a mix of ABS and Polycarbonate) that is certified to self-extinguishing within 10 seconds in case of fire.