Maker Thomas Pryds has released a pair of LED matrix kits designed to bring autonomous color-shifting art to your desk: the colourBoard family.
"Decorate your desk or shelf with the colourBoard," Pryds writes of his latest design, "and lose yourself into its one hundred hypnotising LEDs. [It is] available as a kit with two different options for LEDs: One has LEDs that slowly fade between colors, and one has LEDs that simply blink. The slight timing inaccuracy of the fading/blinking makes the LEDs slowly drift away from each other, which gives an illusion of randomness that is hard to move your eyes away from."
The eye-catching yet relatively simple board arrives as a pair of PCBs, one to house the electronics and the second acting as a cover, with 105 color-fading RGB LEDs — five provided as spares, Pryds explains, "for accidents during soldering" — 100 resistors, a slide switch, and a mini-USB connector for power - a relatively unusual sight in a world that has largely moved to micro-USB or USB Type-C.
There's no microcontroller in the kit: Instead, the colourBoard relies on two-leg LEDs which have fading or blinking capabilities already built in. As a result, assembly is relatively straightforward — if not a little time-consuming, given that there are 100 LEDs and 100 resistors to solder.