WiFi enabled RGB light panel
The panel utilises the common place SMD5050 RGB light strips and a WiFi enabled controller to provide a visually appealing light panel. Its original intention was for a cost effective sensory light to aid people with Autism. This has not been tried yet, but has the alternative use as an appealing light for the home and office. Other uses may include night lights, light alarms and as a generic lighting solution.
The 3D printed frame provides a track for the LEDs to slide through and aligns the LEDs to the light guide panel and holds the assembly together. The Light Guide Panel (LGP) diffuses the light emitted by the LEDs which surround it. The mirror layer, reflects any light heading out the back of the panel. Whilst the opaque layer diffuses the light making it look like a solid light source.
Bill Of Materials:
1 x Printed frame (frame, joiner and corner pieces)
1 x Strip of LEDs, preferably RGB 5050SMD – NON-WATERPROOF (circa. 1M in length)
1 x 3mm mirror acrylic (A3/A4 can be bought off the shelf, see eBay)
1 x 5mm clear acrylic, requires laser/router etching. (A3/A4 can be bought off the shelf, see eBay)
1 x 3mm opaque acrylic, as diffuser. (A3/A4 can be bought off the shelf, see eBay)
The light guide panel etching has been guessed at, and no scientific calculations have been made on the size, density and depth of the etching. However, testing has shown that the current pattern provides a full and consistent light up to an A3 size of panel (not tried larger). The etching was done on a 40W laser cutter, with full power at 50% speed. Your are looking for a surface roughing, rather than a hole.
The WiFi controller is of my own design, based around the ESP8266, but there are many other RGB kits out there with infrared, RF and WiFi solutions. As long as the LEDs are 5mm wide and the strip is 10mm wide it should work with this design.
If you would like help sourcing any parts please leave a comment and I will get back to you.
Two sizes of the panel have been tested so far:
- A4 (210 x 297 mm)
- 4 x 128mm frame lengths
- 2 x 170mm frame lengths
- 4 Joiners (can get away with 2)
- 4 Corners
- A3 (297 x 420 mm)
- 10 x 128mm frame lengths
- 6 Joiners
- 4 Corners
All the .STL files have been uploaded individually as well as a a full set for each size (A4 / A3). I have also uploaded the acrylic etching as a .DXF , if you need another format just ask.
- Work out the best way to wall mount the thing.
- Set up GitHub with board design files and software
I printed all the parts with 0% infill, but used 2 perimeters (0.4mm nozzle) at a 0.3mm layer height. Not had any issues with the tall parts, but some people may find it useful to add a raft for them.
Takes roughly 7 / 8 hours to complete the entire frame at once.
Feed the LED strip through the frame pieces, making sure they are all the same orientation (note: they are not symmetrical)
Sandwich the 3mm mirror and 5mm clear (with dots etched) make sure the dot side is facing away from the mirror piece. Slide the frame parts on, with the diffuser also in place.
Place the joiner pieces over the joints
Add the corner pieces, making sure to breakout the LED strip connecting wire to the back. If the wire is too stiff, try breaking the strands apart.
Step 6 (Optional)
The frame holds fairly well together on its own. But you may wish to glue the pieces together for better strength.
Plug it in, stand back and enjoy!
The WiFi controller is based on an ESP8266 and ON Semiconductor NTD20N06LT4G mosfets. The ESP8266 is programmed through the popular Arduino platform and supports control through an MQTT connection of the self hosted web interface.
Many other devices are available that do the same job, but If you need more details please leave a comment.
See pictures for user interface.