I bought some parts over at Adafruit to build some ThingSpeak and CheerLights projects. If you know me, I am always attracted to multicolored lights and even more so around the holidays. Adafruit has simplified the way to work with LED matrix panels by offering a new device called the Adafruit Matrix Portal. The Matrix Portal connects to any HUB-75 compatible LED display and gives you Wi-Fi control, USB-C power, an accelerometer, and a processor to help you create animations and graphics. With all of these options, you can build anything from an On-Air sign to a kinetic sand toy.
LED panels are really bright without a diffuser. You can buy a diffuser to enhance the look of the display… if you remember to buy one. I found an 8×10 clear document frame stand at my house and remembered that I have Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass Spray Paint the I used for my arcade cabinet project. I sprayed on three coats of the frosted glass spray while allowing for each coat to dry for about 15 minutes.
As an added bonus, the document frame also doubled as a stand for the Matric Portal display. The frosted glass enhancement turned out really well and greatly enhances the look of the LEDs.
Take a look at what Adafruit’s LED Sand demo looks like behind the diffused acrylic stand.