Syn's RGB Lighting Projects

I thrive on colored lighting. It’s part of my self-therapy when I get stressed. I’ll step away from my source of stress (be it work, home life, etc) and go sit in a dark room with colored lighting, and just relax.

A lot of my home projects are RGB lighting based, ranging from corner wall wash lamps that indirectly light a room to full on Hue-compatible room lighting projects.

This thread will be where I document these projects as I design and build them.

My first one: The Megaleaf, a Nanoleaf clone, that is almost 14 inches tall/wide.

I milled 12mm Baltic birch on my LR2 to create a back plate and a front bezel and then cut a piece of 1/4" milky translucent acrylic. The leaf is being powered by an ESP32 microcontroller and contains 68 LEDs in the housing. It will be connected to 11 more downstream. These will be placed on a wall in my living room in a pattern I have not yet decided on. I am milling a small similarly styled electronics enclosure that will be the power/signal jumping off point for the lights.

Back plate with a Coke bottle for scale.

The front bezel rendering. I was too eager to assemble it to get a photo of the completed piece.

The assembled and lighted piece.

Enjoy the video.


I just got 2 different strands of those LED’s and I had no idea what I would do with them. I think I might need to modify that a tiny bit and make it my logo outline since it is so close already.


These are addressable LEDs (WS2812b) with WLED controlling them.

I will get you the DXFs and step files if you’d like, then you can just tweak it.

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I had not seen the WLED before, now I am even more excited. I have some esps’s sitting here as well. Now I need to try it out. Let me see how that goes before I start cutting anything.

Awesome project thanks for the inspiration!

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No problem! Everything I use now is WLED when I do my lighting. You’re going to have a lot of fun with it. :slight_smile:


Now install Vixenlights or Xlights on your pc/laptop and you can control them all together…

When you do you could get something like this:

2 panels of thin plywood (60x244 cm ore 24"x48") with each 150 holes with ws2811 leds through them.On top of the leds are pingpong balls.

Holes were made on my mpcnc. They fit together in a way that the distance between the leds is the same as in one panel. Here they are connected to a wemosD1 running espixelstick software and are wirelessly connected to a raspberry pi running FPP. I made two extra a couple of weeks ago. Intended use is for a amateur musical we hope to perform next year September.

I should try WLED again, couldn’t get it to work, constantly rebooting.


I use those LEDs all over the place. Anytime I have a project where I want a status LED, I use one of those. Provides a lot more information than ‘on/off’.

I used some of them to light up an Acrylic sign at work. The application monitored our Nagios environment and would light up the sign between red and green depending on the status of the servers. We trained the rest of the engineers not to bother us if the sign was between Red and Yellow. If Nagios was down or no data was being returned, the sign would ‘go rainbow’.


Okay that is too cool!

I killed an esp, my fault, but I had a spare. I should buy a couple more, this is fun.


I have a box of dead ESPs I plan to use as miniature circuit gravestones for an IT Geek themed cemetery for Halloween this year. They’re cheap as hell. I use one of them running WLED with a WebHooks plugin for Octoprint to control my lighting for the 3D printer, and I’m looking at adding one to the LR2 to control some short LED strips underneath the X plate. I’m cutting that plate now, and including a small bit-focused camera mount so I can see the bit under the dust shoe (hence needing lighting). Overkill? Unnecessary? Insane? Yes to all three… But damn it’s fun.


Daylight shot.


What is your diffuser?

They are easily my favorite chip. I can’t believe how cheap they are, and they have been super cheap when competitors were wildly more expensive. I used to have an arduino Yun as my thermostat. That was about $100 and it was the cheapest solution for arduino with wifi. The Yun replaced a regular arduino uno and a wifi shield, which was $90 for the shield, IIRC. Then these little chips come along with wifi, and they were originally sold as a serial interface to wifi. You could send AT commands over a uart to control them and they would let you get wifi on your arduino.

Then someone figured out that you can just flash the esp8266 and that it was much faster than the arduino. That felt like a game changer.

The esp32 has a lot more pins, and has dual core 32 bit processors, which is really nice for wifi so you can handle the network stuff while still doing your microprocessor stuff. It’s a big step forward, but the esp8266 was a game changer. I am sure that any of the new 32 bit processors we are taking advantage of are a lot cheaper because of the competition from these little guys.

I like to buy the esp32s with the built in OLED screen. It’s just nice when programming to have that view of what’s going on. I usually set it up to display the ip address along the bottom, so I can easily connect to it.


1/4" milky translucent acrylic. It doesn’t edge light worth a damn as the light stops before it makes it more than about 2 inches, so the acrylic is affixed to the pocketed surface on the inside of the front cover with double sided tape, and the LEDs are set up so that they hit half of the edge of the acrylic, and wash under for the rest. If I were to paint the inside of the back panel white, or cut that out and put in a thin sheet of opaque white plastic, I’d get more reflectivity through the center of the panel.

Edit: The dark spots visible through the diffuser are knots in one of the inner plys of the Baltic birch.

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This one is actually controlled by an ESP32. There is a fork of WLED that includes enough output pins to run multiple strips in parallel with discreet output signals. This will be coming to the main branch soon, but is ideal for a large scale light project like multiple “Megaleaf” light panels. Allowing more independent control of lighting can only make things better, right?

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I have a neopixel panel that is something like 12x48 pixels. I wanted to set it up in our kitchen as a scoreboard for board games. I kept getting enough noise that I would end up with a couple of goofed up pixels. I didn’t ever get back into it to try to solve the issue.

I was thinking it would be fun to match the style of a famous statdium score board. But I couldn’t find a design I liked.


So what does it look like behind the diffuser?

The image in the first post:

LEDs run around the perimeter of the shape. Diffuser has about 4mm or so between it and the inside of the back plate.

I intend to revise the design a little bit, and will upload the redesigned DXFs once I am comfortable with them.


oh yea i saw that pic - I’m just curious how you installed the LEDs. i.e. Are they strips or strands? How many leds? Are they horizontal across cutout or vertical along the wall, etc. I’m assuming they are vertical around the perimeter but its hard to tell for sure

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Ohhh… Sorry. You’re right. They are vertical around the perimeter. I wanted bright, so I installed all the way around rather than my initial plan of 9 LEDs per corner. Total of 68 LEDs.

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Thanks for the confirmation! Looks I have another project on my list