A joint project with the Handweaver’s Guild of Boulder County to support their 50th anniversary. More info here.
The Dairy Arches lit by luminescence

Decorative Lighting

Various LED-based decorative fixtures around the house.
Six foot aluminum bar with HB LEDs lighting sculpture
Row of individually lit glass blocks
Mexican shell lamp lit by LEDs

Retro Desklamp

Cork and glass LED Lamp
A re-purposed 60s-era cork and glass lamp with about a hundred 3528 warm white LEDs and my touch dimmer.

Night Light

A custom night light built in a laser-cut enclosure. Red LEDs illuminate the rear edges and top surface to match the red wall it is plugged into. A single RGB LED illuminates the front using a slowly changing random fade between different hues.
Laser cut LED nightlight lit art-deco pink
Laser cut LED nightlight lit sky blue

Pill Bottle Light

Twelve 5050 (3-chip) LEDs provide the light source in a pill bottle shaped like an Edison light bulb placed in a Mexican star light. Dimming provided by a custom 12VDC touch sensitive dimmer prototype.
Pill-bottle edison lamp lit by LEDs with touch dimmer
Pill-bottle LED lamp in mexcan star fixture

Mardi Gras Costume

My partner and I used to co-host an annual Mardi Gras fundraiser party. As befits the theme, it was a pretty wild party. For 2008 I made a "Mardi King" costume with 16 BlinkM LED lights controlled by a Lilypad Arduino-clone over an I2C bus. The Lilypad and power-supply were worn in a belt under the costume. Since this was a costume I didn't do a lot of testing before hand. Otherwise I might have known the battery pack, right above my groin, would become extremely hot with the current draw of 48 LEDs and 17 microprocessors. That was a pretty interesting design mistake to say the least. At least there is a lot of alcohol at this party which helped me deal with the burning sensations... I had grand ideas about the programming but it ended up to be very simple. The BlinkMs contain several canned sequences and the user can load their own custom sequence. I loaded a series of color changes relating to Mardi Gras colors. The BlinkM's use a built-in oscillator which is pretty inaccurate. After a few minutes of running the same program the BlinkMs are completely out of sync which makes for a nice light show. The Arduino board just sampled a push-button switch and selected between the different programs in the BlinkMs. My favorite is the Thunderstorm program which causes rippling flashes of lighting across my costume and body.
LED lit mardi gras costume (on a thinner and younger version of myself)
Rear of mardi-gras costume

Mix 6

Mix 6 is carved alabaster about 15" x 11" x 9" running the rainbow6 program. I originally wrote this program for Ilya Makedon who creates LED artwork and owned the Labyrinth gallery in Denver. The main idea behind Mix 6 was for a LED sculpture to show multiple random colors at a time. rainbow6 allows for a wide variety of pseudo-random color patterns. I aimed the red, green, blue, white and yellow LEDs so that these color patterns would play out non-uniformly across the surface of the piece.
Mix-6 in alabaster - red end of spectrum
Mix-6 lit with blues and purples

Obsolete Display Digital Clock

The Obsolete Display Digital Clock was an idea to make a digital clock (what nerd hasn't made at least one in their life) using only obsolete digital displays. This clock uses nixie tubes (50s), incandescent seven segment displays (60s) and HP dot matrix LED displays with built-in decoder (70s). A PIC 16C57 drives it from a 32 kHz watch crystal. The timekeeping loop takes exactly 8192 instructions, no more, no less, per second. I have no idea why I just didn't use one of the PIC timers. One kinda clever thing about this clock is after driving out BCD signals for each digit I only had one pin left over for time setting functions. Pressing the button attached to that signal for less than a second resets the seconds and increments the minutes. Holding it down for more than a second starts incrementing the hours making it easy to make daylight savings changes without affecting the minutes or seconds. I belong to a nixie group on yahoo and those guys build fantastically complex clocks that set themselves from a variety of time services and have a million other functions as well.
Ancient digital display clock with nixie, dot-matric LED and incandescent displays

Rear Projection

A gift for a friend controlled by the rainbow2 program. I used silver jewelry wire to mount the LEDs above the electronics enclosure. Colors fade across the polished Agate slab. There is a beautiful interplay between the partially mixed LED colors and the irregular agate surface.
Rear projection scultpure lit red
Rear projection sculpture lit purple
Detail showing how rear projection LEDs were mounted on silver wires


The egg is a lit "found art". In this case an alabaster "egg" lit with 12 red, green, blue and yellow LEDs controlled by the rainbow2 program. It doesn't really show in the images but each "segment" of the egg is slightly different which changes the light slightly resulting in a beautiful object. The egg was a gift for my partner.
Blue Egg
Red Egg
Green Egg

Lit Costume

A costume using about 30 feet of flexible neon tubing woven into a body suite, a plasma globe, miniature UV lights and animated LEDs. There were 64 LEDs forming an electric bolt controlled by a PIC on the cape.
Lit costume with LEDs and EL wire
Rear of costume showing EL bolt filled with 64 flashing red LEDs

Blown Glass Ball

The glass was blown by my daughter and sits above four LEDS (red, green, blue and yellow) controlled by the rainbow2 program. The idea was to refract color off the air/glass phase changes inside the glass globe. rainbow2 is a simple fader with 16 different modes but primarily oriented at fading through the rainbow of colors at various rates. I personally like sculptures that change color very slowly so a casual observer doesn't realize the color is changing until looking at the sculpture much later.
Yellow blown glass ball
Blue blown glass ball
Green blown glass ball

Jewel Case Nightlight

The Jewel case nightlight series runs rainbow2 using a single RGB LED and two Yellow LEDs in a small ring case. I like the way the light plays off the plastic facets of the ring box. I overdrive the LEDs and the device is amazingly bright.
Purple Jewel case nightlight
Cyan Jewel case nightlight
Yellow Jewel case nightlight

A Harbinger of my future

My first LED sculpture - 4 LEDs in acrylic forever
During the summer between my senior year of high school and freshmen year at college I was fascinated by electronics systems, such as spacecraft, that once built, could never again be touched, modified or fixed by a human. They would just run on their own until some failure. Since I couldn't build space faring devices I would build a circuit and encapsulate it in epoxy resin. That way it was impossible for me to ever get to it again. One item that still runs, some 40 years later, is a set of 4 LEDs driven (with inverted logic) from a 7490 decade counter TTL IC with a 555 oscillator. I have had this device running constantly no matter where I have lived.