Daily Archive for June 14th, 2011

ACRIS — Automatically-Controlled Room Illumination System

I’ve been interested in lighting effects and visualization of sensory input for quite some time. LEDs are spectacular devices because they are so incredibly versatile. I’ve specifically become interested in RGB LEDs, which have 3 dies in one package, one for each color. Furthermore, I find the high power LEDs to be particularly amazing. I’ve done a lot of work with these LEDs, which can do 350mA per channel. They’re extraordinarily bright.

A year ago, I came up with the concept of ACRIS (Audio-Controlled Room Illumination System). The first design would use an FPGA for sound processing and wasn’t going to modular at all. However, I never had the time to work out the long development cycles associated with using FPGAs for large-scale projects.

Now, using what I learned from my design of the electronics for the Next House Party Lighting System, I’ve designed generic, modular LED controllers that are very easy to interface with. They can be controlled by a computer, an FPGA, a microcontroller, etc.

ACRIS has been reborn as “Automatically-Controlled Room Illumination System”. It will have sensory input from a variety of factors. I’m still trying to come up with creative ideas for styles of illumination, but I have the majority of the electronics ready.

Namely, I’ve designed the LED driver board and the communications board, which contain all of the electronics necessary to run the system.

These boards are extremely generic. I’m trying to make them such that people can use them for their own DIY projects — I want to take all of the tough technical problems out of the process so that people will have more time to explore their creativity and design interesting lights.