DIY : LED Glow Stick Doubles as Lightsaber – Hackster Blog

Constructing a lightsaber is something of a rite of passage for young Jedi, though they might be disappointed to note that hacker “Facelesstech,” who doesn’t even consider himself a Star Wars fan, pulled off this feat largely by accident! The goal was to create an electronic glow stick, using programmable LEDs, but after adding a cylindrical base for the controls, the similarity is hard to miss.

The device uses 8mm WS2811 LEDs, similar to the WS2812 LEDs that you’re probably familiar with, but in a round package resembling “normal” LEDs. They work with the same NeoPixel libraries as WS2812 LEDs as well, making implementation fairly straightforward. In order to mount LEDs in a nice row, Facelesstech put power and ground on two solid rails, then enclosed the assembly in clear tubing.

With the base attached — a black cylinder made out of PVC pipe — to the transparent blade, it does indeed look distinctly saber-like, though one might describe it as a “lightdagger” given its diminutive length. Control is via an Arduino Pro Mini, and different patterns are selected via a rotary switch on the hilt of this “glow stick.” Also of note is the circular FTDI breakout on the handle, which gives it a nice industrial/aerospace aesthetic. Code for the build is available on GitHub.


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