# Need instructions on where to start

#### YounesLED

Joined Apr 19, 2010
3
I need instructions on how to get started with led's and making beautiful effects using alot of leds that change color rapidly. I want this information because a friend of mine is going to start with making big advertisement signs and i want to surprise him by making some very cool led light that is controllable by programming them to do stuff. I'm not 100% new to this I have studied Information Technology and had some lessons on Embedded systems and c programming etc. I want to try to create a setup in which i can program a chip to make led's flash / color up and kinda go from blue to red to green with nice motions etc. Could someone please give me instructions on what kind of controller i need, how do i attach this to my computer and what kind of software i do need to put my stuff on the chip that controls the lights etc. Also i would love to have some information on how to make sure i create a nice circuit, or like how to create a sequence of leds etc. I know this is very general information for you, but as I said i'm kinda new to this business and really am up to try things out in this stage. Also i don't want to start with just 16 leds i want to try to go big straight out. (100 leds or something).
I have been browsing around some on the internet looking for manufacturers and places where i could try getting some products to start with this. This ended up with no luck.
THX!

#### retched

Joined Dec 5, 2009
5,208
To tell you the truth, If you need this in less than 4 or 5 months, you should just buy one. The full color led displays for outdoor advertising can even display avi and flash animations.. So you can dream up many patterns.

#### SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,210
The trouble with a relative beginner starting out with a complex project is that they usually end badly, and the person becomes so discouraged they give up completely.

I suggest that you start with a small project, complete it, and then work up from there.

Even building pre-made kits will give you valuable experience that you can build on.

If you've never wielded a soldering iron before, you will soon discover that just making a single good soldered connection takes a good bit of practice. My very first attempts at soldering were truly horrible; great balls of wrinkled/cracked gray solder.

Just designing a basic circuit has numerous learning curves to get over. Designing a complex LED board will take experience.

The way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

#### coldpenguin

Joined Apr 18, 2010
165
If perhaps designing a circuit from scratch isn't quite what you want, how about building a circuit from http://picprojects.org.uk/projects/lc/index.htm as a test project. This would help with some of the MUX you would need to get to grips with on a larger board.... perhaps. I think that this would be quite a challenge, yet possibly close enough to what you want to end up with to give you a good starting point.

#### YounesLED

Joined Apr 19, 2010
3
I'm not gonna be very enjoyed when i have to build my own circuits and boards etc. Is there any way that i can just like use some controller with a predefined set of lights or smth that i can just program myself? Tbh i'm a programmer and have not the skills needed to build circuits and things like that. Are there any smart boards on which you can like attach 50 or 100 or 200 lights with a nice controller that can be programmed?

#### SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,210
Well, here's a relatively inexpensive scrolling LED sign:
Very limited programming abilities, but what would one expect for $40? You can find similar types of displays in color with more programming features in the$200-\$300 range.

If you want a large display, then you're getting into rather pricey options.

A Google search for "Scrolling LED sign" will give a lot of hits.