Portable light box



Hi this is my first time using arduino, my project is to make a portable light box. I have purchased rgb led strips a power supply and an arduino uno.
I want there to be 3 primary functions.

the whole box to light up in any color chosenThe borders to light up in sequencesA word to be displayed
I would like it to be controlled from both an app on phone and a remote control.

My question is what hardware is required to control this type of setup?
I should be ok with the code but im struggling to work out the materials

Hi Jeremy,

I would control this with a Pi Zero W personally. That way you will have Bluetooth and Wifi connectivity down the road when you’re ready for it.

You could always add Wifi or Bluetooth to an Arduino Uno as well.

do i have change to the recommended Pi Zero and i have worked out how to control them. i would like to make words out of lights what lights would you recommend i use for this?

i was thinking short lengths of RGB strip my question is how do i cut them and change direction to make the letters

Hey Jeremy,

You could start with a project like this one:

or this one:

am i able to power the 32 by 64 matrix board directly off a 7.4 volt libo battery with the arduino powered from a seperate 5v power supply?

Hi Jeremy,

Those matrix panels require 5V to operate. Providing too much voltage (7.4V) will destroy the LED matrix. You MUST provide the correct voltage for this to operate, it looks like it may be too late from your picture though.

Something like this would work, you need 5V and at least 4A:

Hi Stephen, not too late I didn’t apply the voltage. What would you recommend to regulate the voltage to 5v ?

Hi Jeremy,

You scared me there for a minute! One of these will work, it can handle 6A and your matrix should only draw about 4A. This will give you a little overhead so the regulator won’t get as hot, and you could use it power your Arduino as well so everything could run off the one battery. Actually if you could power the Arduino directly off the 7.4v battery as long as you go through the 2.1mm power port. There is a voltage regulator onboard that can handle up to 12V.

I’ve managed to get it all hooked up with the correct power supply but I can’t make the example codes run. Are you able to share a simple code that will scroll text across the board

Hi Jeremy,

The code from the example is your best bet:

Have you tried this yet? My first thought would be to double check your wiring. Try this tutorial out:

I’m using a 5v 2.5A power supply it appears to have enough power to supply the matrix. How will under power effect the display?

Hey Jeremy,
Under power will affect it in one of two ways, if its just under you will probably just get a slight dimming of the lights as the unit struggles to provided the current needed. The other will be the voltage will drop a lot and you will get no lights at all. These cases should not damage your hardware at all though if you have any components with writable memory it may cause corruption.

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Hi Stephen,
I’ve managed to get the raspberry to to control the matrix board I’m trying to make it run through a sequence loop but it seems to stop after about 5mins. Could this be the raspberry going to sleep

Hi Jeremy,

It could be, but that seems unlikely. The Pi will not go to sleep unless you have configured it to do so. This could be a result of being under powered. Do you get any errors from your Pi program when it stops?

No I get no errors It is running of a 2.5 amp regulator so under power is likely