Last year I was finishing part of my basement to build a new office for myself. A friend recommended I utilize some of the wasted space behind one of the walls by adding some built-in shelves. I grew up working in my father’s cabinet shop, I couldn’t just build simple flat shelves. Instead I came up with this idea:
Each of the white rectangles are tip-outs which makes for great storage.
While the shelf looks and works great, this is a technology blog. Afterall, what good is a shelf without some blinky?
Before attaching the back to the shelf, I added LED strips to line up behind each of the tip-outs.
In my first post, I had begun putting together some home-made breakout boards for my favorite TLC5940s. I finished a few more of those and began testing. Unfortunately, I ran into some serious problems. I had planned on placing the TLC boards strategically around the back of the shelf, near the lights they would be controlling, but I could not get the TLCs to communicate reliably over a distance of more than a foot or two. I did a lot of reading and tested a lot of theories, but in the end I was left with several fried TLCs. So instead, I opted to place the TLCs next to each other and home-run all of the LED wires to the TLCs. I ended up using a lot more wire this way, but it worked.
So without further ado, here is what it looks like: