Lightning Clouds

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by jcaauwe, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. jcaauwe

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    I have a great idea, but not sure how or where to start. I got the idea from this:
    Making a lamp look like clouds lit up. My idea is to fill an entire ceiling with cotton and instead use a cooler color LED. Have 15+ LED's randomly in the coton and have them flash randomly to look like soundless lightning in clouds. I'm good on LED's and how they work. But what I'm stuck at is how to make them flash randomly. As far as I've gone via LED's is hooking them to batteries, simple stuff. Is there some sort of board I could build? or buy? Something I can program? thank you in advance!
  2. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008

    I found this in "the completed projects forum".
    As it says it is for completed projects and not for questions.

    You might want to have a look at this thread:
    LEDs, 555s, Flashers, and Light Chasers

  3. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    You might get some ideas from this completed project.
  4. Bernard


    Aug 7, 2008
    Ready to go on bread board. In my project- LED's & clear marbles in a bottle- semi random pulse lights 3 or 4 LEDs in series, pulse delayed about 3 sec for another 3 or4 LEDs, another cascaded delay & last group. LEDs bright white with a few yellow ones thrown in, white 3V @ 20 mA.
    What are you planning for LEDs?? Will publish results-success or failure.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
  5. Bernard


    Aug 7, 2008
    This circuit seems random enough for my project, why not lightning. Just the old free running counter with " random" stop. A fast clock, About 500 kHz, is gated by a 1/10 sec one shot,OS to a 7 stage binary counter. Count resumes with a slow clock untill counter is full & as last stage goes low, the OS is set to start a new cycle. Max spacing is about 15 sec & is adjustable via slow clock. Some time periods observed: 3,4,7,12,14,13,3,3,2,9,8,9,10,1,5,1,3,8,11,11,9,3,2,6,11,1,4,11,4,3,2,4,
  6. russpatterson

    Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    If you want full control over your LED patterns then you should get into the microcontroller stuff. These days the barrier to entry is pretty low, with the Arduino's, PICaxe's and all that stuff. If you need to control more LED's than your microcontroller has output pins then shift registers (that trigger transistors) are an easy way to increase the number of control points.
  7. DickCappels


    Aug 21, 2008
    Hey...if you are going to be running all those LEDs in fluffs of cotton, what about short circuits and other circuit faults that might cause enough heat to set the cotton on fire????

    May I suggest A) Add fusing or current limiting to limit the amount of heat that can be generated, and B) Use glass wool or some other non-flammable material (Cotton sounds pretty dangerous).

    What you need is a Candle Simulator, several have been done with PIC processors, such as the one referenced in the URL below.

    I Googled "Candle Simulator" without the quotes.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  8. Bernard


    Aug 7, 2008
    Will try a still -video failed. Lightning flashes 4 times in 350 ms; really looses something in still. There are 3 bright white LEDs, 2 at bottom L & R, all flash in semi random fashon. Schematic available but not loaded yet- will load if there is any interest.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012