Brainings, Free Range Technology, Idiotic or Inspired?

3-Bit Video Abstraction Project

My employer makes a nifty little 12-volt LED light that contains separate RGB (red/green/blue) diodes. It’s  3/4-inch in diameter and intended for rugged, outdoor environments — specifically decorative use on carnival rides. The cool thing is that it can change color on command. It has four separate wires — one power plus three separate ground leads — so that the three colors are independently controllable. The result is that the unit can display the eight colors of the 3-Bit RGB palette by powering the diodes alone and in combination.

I began thinking about taking the technology for driving LED matrices and scaling it up to use this light. I thought an LED monitor of sorts made from the company’s products might be an intersting promotional tool, such as at trade shows. The larger lens size and greater viewing angle would make it more akin to an incandescent scoreboard than a desktop circuit board. That would be fairly well suited to scoreboard-style scrolling text and simple animations, but what if you want to display video?

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User Input

User Input: Technological Creativity

I have, in my home, internet-enabled doors. This means there is the ability, through a rather convoluted means designed to enhance security, to lock or unlock our doors from anywhere in the world. It’s a lovely thing to have, but aside from checking to make sure I’ve locked the house behind me, it […]

Tech Theory

LED Home Lighting…Ready for Prime Time?

This morning, TechieInHell asked about your preferred type of home lighting. Since I work for a company that manufactures LED vehicle lighting, I had previously written an in-depth look at LED home lighting for my employer’s corporate newsletter. I present it here to AT readers in a slightly revised form.

Most people are aware of the advantages low-voltage light emitting diodes (LEDs) over incandescent lights for vehicle lighting and flashlights: longer life, vibration resistance, lower power requirements, less heat; the list goes on and on. Meanwhile, the bulk of the general public has converted at least some of their incandescent home lighting to fluorescent tubes and integrated compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in order to save money on energy and help protect the environment. Far fewer have considered LED home lights, which are available commercially but remain more of geek/techie niche. Higher-voltage LEDs offer many of the advantages listed above, but some drawbacks remain. Are they ready for mainstream use?
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User Input: Light Up My Life

The Centennial Bulb, lit almost continuously since 1901.

Man has long worshipped the sun and the moon for, among other things, the light they provide. The light of the sun got man through the day, and the light of the moon helped him find his way to the cathole at night. It’s no […]