Awesome Star Wars LED Backlit Movie Poster with Arduino and Neopixels

Movie posters outside cinemas often look far better than ones you can buy and take home. Perhaps it’s the location, and the warmth of the backlight; maybe it’s the fact that they’re housed in protective shutters. After all, when you stick a poster on your wall with Blu Tack, it tends to get pretty decrepit after time.

Perhaps some sort of frame is the answer for your movie (or TV show, or pop group) posters ... and if it is, why stop with a bit of wood and perspex? Why not add a backlight, just like a poster found outside a cinema?

In fact, why stop there?

Now, we don’t know if this is Steve Moseley’s actual thought process, but we can certainly see how he found his way to making a backlit movie poster with Neopixel strips. As it’s a Star Wars poster (specifically for 2015’s The Force Awakens), you won’t be surprised to learn that the Neopixels are illuminating lightsabers and blaster bolts. LEDs are also in place to illuminate the Star Wars logo.

Mounted in a wooden frame (poplar, with a plywood back), the lights on the poster are controlled via an Arduino Mega, and for Steve’s first (and so slightly ambitious) Arduino project, he used Microsoft Excel to formulate the code to manipulate the Neopixels. He’s shared the finished code on GitHub.

With some intensive woodworking, and the ingenious use of a full-sized photocopy of the poster to line up the LEDs, we think you’ll agree that this is just a perfect use for Neopixels and the Arduino Mega. Visually stunning, the lights can be adjusted using three arcade gaming buttons mounted along the top of the poster.

Want to build your own backlit movie poster with LED strips? Check Steve’s extremely detailed tutorial for more information. Don’t feel limited to Star Wars, either – we reckon there are many more posters that could be given the Arduino and Neopixel strip treatment. Perhaps a less popular movie, or perhaps a film noir thriller ... you’re only limited by the vast selection of posters!


Christian Cawley

Christian Cawley spends a lot of time with Raspberry Pis and scours the web looking for interesting DIY electronics projects and news for ElectroMaker. He's currently trying to show his 7 year old son how to get to grips with Scratch, but so far to no avail.


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