Matt Armstrong from Watermark Church in Dallas, TX brings us this stage “Lite Brite” out of around 7,000 water bottles and LEDs.
They made this fully functioning, low resolution LED wall from 6,912 water bottles and WS2812 LEDs.
The final product was two side walls 24’w by 8’h and one center wall 32’w by 12’h. The walls consisted of 24 panels measuring roughly 4’x8′ and containing 288 water bottles each; 12 panels for the center and 6 for each side. The panels were made from 1×4’s and 1/8″ MDF with holes for the bottles on one side and the caps on the other. Each water bottle (held in place with hot glue on the cap) had a WS2812 LED fastened at the cap with staples. The cap acted as a diffuser, and they sprayed the bottom of each bottle with Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass to catch the light. Pixlite controllers receive Artnet from an Arkaos media server and send data to each LED. Arkaos has an LED Mapper feature that will take a video and scale it to fit an LED array.
Recommendations from Matt:
- Use a CNC. It took 4 guys 2.5 hours to cut holes by hand for half a panel (front and back) for our test rig. In contrast, the CNC did full panels in less than an hour.
- Make your panels 17wx10h pixels. A universe of DMX accommodates 170 pixels, and a 17×10 grid also makes a 1.7 ratio. I can’t tell you how much time this would have saved me in addressing and configuration vs the 24×12 grids we made.
- Plan for tons of time. CNC cutting the panels took just under one hour to cut a front and back panel. Plan accordingly; this will not come together overnight.
- Don’t do this to save money. While a prebuilt wall this size would be extremely expensive, time is also very expensive. We did this as an illustration and got a low-res LED wall as a side effect.