RGB LED Strip Controller

Contest Win: First Prize in Make It Glow Contest
Contest Win: Second Prize in Microcontroller Contest

RGB LED Strip Controller is, as the name suggests, a controller for managing colors and effects of analog RGB LED strips installed in a vehicle. This is a feature-packed drop-in replacement for the cheap controllers sold with the strips. It is even compatible with the remote provided with the cheap controllers, achieved by hacking the IR code of the remote.

The remote signal was recorded using an IR sensor and then decoded. The decoded IR signal was encoded into a hex string for each button and stored. This is hard-coded for my specific remote but ends up simplifying code and allowing me to get smooth color animation timings using interrupts.

Each color, effect and setting button has 5 layers which means 75 settable programmable colors(using knob), 15 programmable effects and 5 settings(brightness, effect speed and audio sensitivity).

The circuit is based on ArrDrownHo!, another previously designed board of mine. The PCB was designed in Eagle, then hand-etched and soldered.

It uses TL072 amplifier IC to amplify the microphone signal(for claps and music effect), an IR sensor for remote control, 3 power transistors for controlling LED Strips and 3 potentiometers for fine control.

We wanted the LED strips to be placed discreetly so that only the diffused light is visible while the LED strips themselves are hidden. This required careful planning and for all the 4 door panels to be opened up and drilled for placing wiring. The wiring was run across the car body to the foot pedals where the box was attached to a panel using screws.

  • • Remote controlled. Each colour button has 5 layers of different colours which are programmable.
  • • Flashing and smooth-fading colour effects
  • • Adjust brightness/effect speed
  • • Music effect which alters brightness of current colour/effect according to loudness of music.
  • • Ability to save 5 layers of programmable settings.
  • • Clap activated switch-on function.
  • • Master Reset function to set all the saved colours, effects and settings to default.
  • • Slow fade from black to previously selected colour when switched on.