Light painting : making accessories

Following last post, I’d like to present a little device I created in order to help me in my light painting adventures.

I wanted to have something that could fit in my hand, and which would help me to expand the range of patterns and colors I could for light painting. The idea is to make a sandwich with an 8×8 RGB leds neopixel matrix, an arduino uno and some batteries. Yummy.

BjcpIeICQAAShUw.jpg large

I put a push button on the little breadboard in order to be able to switch between the light patterns I programmed into the arduino when needed.


Here is the final result. I don’t know if I need to mention again that everything holds together thanks to some hot glue here and there.


The best part is : it works ! I had some fun playing with it and a magnifying glass.


We even made an RGB stick too with the same led strips we used on the skates. Unfortunatly we never got to try all these since we never took the time to go on a second light painting session…



  1. Hey,
    Love it. So I was hoping to try a few things with both light painting and using a 16 x 16 neopixel panel i got.

    My main problem with the panel is I have absolutely no clue on how to convert say a jpg or animated gif to a bmp that can be mapped to the 16×16 frame. The examples are for cycling through each pixel but not working on a frame and animating it :).

    The light painting I wanted to attach a neopixel stick to a servo or motor and have it rotate. then write out the time or something clock wise as a light painting.

    The neopixel panel I was hoping to animate some images but no light painting. Possibly a heart rate with a pulse sensor.

    I’d love to hear any thoughts on either. Feel free to contact via email. I’m doing this as exploration for our makerspace but would like to parcel some of this work to volunteers if i can plan it a bit better.

    Later we will provide a framework for folks to interact with the space and animate some strips.

    1. I have to say that I’ve been wondering about the same problem but I didn’t look into it yet !

      What I’d like to do is stick an rgb LEDs array to the wheel of my bike, + an accelerometer and a speed encoder in order to use a persistence of vision effect to display a gif animation. So you see our concerns are very similar.

      At the moment I have to wrap up two projects (the robot to which I’d like to add a line-following sensor and a bluetooth module and my “anti-procrastination box”. I should keep me busy until the end of the month but afterwards I’ll start the wheel thing so maybe we can find a way to help each other at that point !

  2. hey send me an email and we can go from there. I think I can help with the line following as i’ve been having my volunteers add sensors to a robot during project nights 🙂 line following was next on my list. What do you plan on doing with the bt module ? just control or anything else ?

    I also would like to add accelerometer as well for the clock so i can tune but not as needed.. i did find this interesting article that might help


    Trying to get some of this to work on the sparkcore too.

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