Starlite: a star shaped canvas that displays moving patterns of color

By Grant Grummer

Starlite can be constructed as a 6 or 8-point star.  They’re approximately 10 inches tall.  They consist of outer and inner translucent acrylic star shapes, tri-color LED strips, a circuit board, and the hardware to connect them together.  An optional 3D printed back cover can also be made, for a more finished look.

Starlite uses the tri-color LED strips to produce different light displays.  Starlite is programmable, so the displays are only limited by your imagination.  An introduction video along with a set of default light displays can be viewed here:

A small set of display specific instructions are used to create different display patterns.  There are up to 16 possible instructions.  Not all of these instructions are defined at the time of this writing and are available for those who wish to dive deeper into this project. 

The circuit board contains all the electronic hardware needed to drive the LED strips.  The brain of the hardware is a Lattice iCE40 Ultra Plus 5K FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array).  It, along with programming and other support logic, is on the UPduino v3.0 low cost daughter board.  It’s mounted onto the StarLiteMain board.  The StarLiteMain board contains switches, power connector and interface hardware.

Starlite is controlled via three switches.  The power switch enables/disables power from the power input micro USB connector.  The upper pushbutton switch selects one of four display instruction sets.  Each set can have up to 256 instructions.  The lower pushbutton switch selects different brightness levels.

The project can be downloaded from GitHub at:

Key Parts and Components

Add all Digi-Key Parts to Cart
  • 1568-1868-ND
  • UPduino V3.0