A few months ago I did a project for an artist in the midwest using LED strips and two Arduino UNOs. She finally was able to send me some photographs of the exhibit, so I though I would share a few here.
Whats running the show:
On each wall there are three 'Orbs' that have an RGB LED strip encircling the orb. In the middle of the Orb, there is a 'dock' where a metal 'puck' can be removed or added.
Behind a wall there is an UNO that is the master and reads how many pucks are in the docks, and controls the LED strips with three PWM channels. The UNO senses a puck being in the dock via a magnetic door contact sensor. In each puck is a magnet, when the puck is placed in the dock the contact closes in the sensor indicating that there is a puck in the dock. The sensors are connected to inputs on the UNO, and a 20msec delay between two reads is my crude, but effective debounce. I have a protoshield on the top of each UNO that has the RS485 driver IC, and a couple of LED's for comms status.
The PWM channels drive three power MOSFETS that in turn control the R, G, B LED's.
In the table there is also an UNO. There are also 9 frosted glass 'spots' where a visitor can place, or remove a puck from the glass spot.
There is a 12vdc/10A power supply behind each wall, and one in the table as the LED strips draw considerable power.
The 'Master' UNO in the wall communicates to the UNO in the table via an RS485 connection. This was not a fancy communications protocol, but just raw bytes, but it worked without any fuss.
How it all works:
The master UNO reads its inputs for a 'Puck Update". there can be any number from 0 to 9 pucks in the docks - and then uses a lookup table to determine what color to display. The master then sends a broadcast message of a color and carriage return to the table who in turn updates its PWM channels accordingly.
The master unit also updates the color of the wall led's.
The table also does something different other than change the color to match the walls. If a visitor takes the puck they removed from the wall dock, and places it on one of the glass spots on the table, the LED's in the table change their intensity. The intensity level is also based on the amount of pucks that have been placed on the spots. The walls can only change colors, not intensity. The table can change only it's intensity, not colors.
The little orange cords coming from the pucks are connected to tone/sound generators that in turn drive earbuds the visitors wear. I had nothing to do with that part of the project, I just did the LED's.
This may not be a very tech intense project, but it was a lot of fun.
EDIT: Looked at the sketches and realised I made a lot of changes so I corrected the description above. Sorry.