New to lighting, Sydney engineer


New elf
Oct 16, 2011
Collaroy, NSW
Hi ACL people :)

My name's Geoff, I live in Sydney and work as an electronics engineer. A friend sent me a link to the GE light hack and this got me interested in RGB lighting but the cost is prohibitive (string of 50 is about US$100 plus $40 shipping from USA, $2.40 per node!). The search for cheaper options led me to several forums and I have ordered a string of 200 WS2801 pixels from Ray with the intention of building an RGB matrix on my balcony as I live in a 3rd floor unit. While I wait for the pixels to arrive I am thinking of what sort of things I'd like to display in order to knock the socks off my neighbours, I don't usually do anything for Christmas lighting-wise as the cheap sh1t you buy from chain stores is garish and flashes in an annoying way. RGB pixels on the other hand is something an engineer can get excited about :D

My intention is to have an Atmel ATMega controlling my matrix, I use these every day at work so making some magic happen with pixels shouldn't be too hard :) I did buy a couple of DMX to WS2801 from Ray as well in case PC control makes sequence development easier. Ultimately I don't want the display to rely on PC though, it would be much nicer as a standalone device.



I have C.L.A.P
Global moderator
Apr 26, 2010
Albion Park NSW
Welcome to ACL Geoff, Great to see another from NSW, im south in the Illawarra at Albion Park. I created a matrix last year using RGB strips, there are many ways to create a matrix and i dont think there is any real wrong way, just different ways. Im sure it will look great from your balcony.
Feel free to pop into the chat and say hello to many of the members who hang out there, they are a bunch of very helpful guys


I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious
Global moderator
May 29, 2010
Hi Geoff, Welcome to ACL.
Certainly sounds like you have a plan there and you will have no trouble finding information about the many things that pixels can achieve.