LED Lights for the Robot (what do you use??!?!)

Hey, my team is going to put LED lights on our robot. What colors can you use on the robot while playing the game?? Also, where do you buy these LED lights???

Pleas help! :slight_smile:

You can use any color you want to. Team colors are never a bad choice. We buy all of ours from SuperBrightLEDs

Just don’t forget you need 12v LEDs. As for how you light them up, you can either connect straight to the PDB and have them turn on when you have the power switch on, or you can run them off the spike relays and control when you light them up

In past years our teams has used these…

for lighting our robot (and driver’s station). They can get a bit hard to fit into the robot though - particularly this year with the smaller frame - so we will likely be looking into different options.

Thanks so much Team driven! REALLY appreciate it!

So just to clarify, we could use pink LEDs on our robot while playing on the field? I didn’t know if there was a certain rule that said you couldn’t.

Just remember that your LEDs can’t interfere or cause a hazard to any drivers’ vision-- make sure they aren’t too bright (I know this has never been an issue, but as a member of a competition team last year, I really hope it’s addressed this year, because it can be really distracting and annoying as a driver).

Of course, I doubt it will be, but still, be courteous to your opponents and your teammates!

Note: This typically isn’t an issue if the LEDs aren’t directed at a particular place; it was mostly a problem last year because some of the goals were at eye level.

No rules against using LEDs as long as it isn’t intended to interfere with drivers or robots

Awesome! Thanks for your help guys. I really appreciate it!

We will make sure they are concealed well.

We used this strand of individually addressable LED’s from Adafruit last year:

They have arduino code, which is what we used last year, which we interfaced to the cRio (clunkily) through a pair of digital outputs. This year, I took the Arduino library and adapted it to use the SPI.h interface in Wpilib, so we should be able to have the lights respond to a lot more robot, driver, and game actions, and the wiring will be simpler.

Another great place to get 12V LED’s is automotive stores, or the automotive department at places like Walmart. 12V LED strips are used by many to add interior accent lighting to their cars (like under the dash), and are perfectly compatible with the FRC electrical system. They most often have adhesive backs, can be applied either straight or curved, and can be plugged directly into the 12V WAGO connectors on the PDB.

Just make sure that whatever lighting strip you use meets the custom circuits guidelines and is on an appropriate circuit. For instance, the lights we use need to be cut so we don’t draw too much power from the solenoid breakout.

Sounds like a pretty cool idea. (:

we have Ring light (fc13-060)
any Idia who we cane conect, we try using from PD 20 A conecting with Power Converter CPR-360 (am-0899) .
any paper about that

To connect the ring light, you can lead it straight back to the power distribution board and one of the 20 amp slots. If you’d like to turn it on and off, you’ll need to hook it to a spike (or a talon/victor/jag if you want variable control).

The Ring Light is a 12V device - it needs to be hooked up to one of the 12V outputs from the PDB - the red and black WAGO connectors - or to a spike if you want on/off control.

Unless you have two Power Converters on your robot, it should only be used with the radio - no other electrical loads can be connected to it, per R44. Using a second one connected to the normal 12V outputs and an appropriately sized breaker would be allowed as a custom circuit, if you needed the 5V output for something.

Are you communicating to the Arduino over spi or directly to the lights over spi?

We are using the individually addressable LED’s from Adafruit hooked up to a couple DIO ports and calling them directly from the cRIO using SPI in Java. Super cool… with one strand you can dial in any color/pattern you want.

I have gotta learn how to do that. Is it possible in C++?

Yes… should be even easier than in Java. Start with the C++ Arduino code posted on Adafruit and then replace the Arduino SPI calls with WPILib SPI calls.

“3528 Type SMD”
That’s great for Up Next, but where can I get some 1806 Type SMD? :wink:

In all seriousness, I was looking at some RGB Lights with separate leads for R, B, and G like these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA0WP0M58573. We’d hook the separate leads up to a 3-way switch, and use green (a team color) for practice, and red or blue on the field based on what alliance we’re on.

We bought a Ton of lights from Greeled.
We made a huge group purchase from there of both RGB and addressable.

Here is the RGB we bought, at about $32 a 5m roll with glue cover waterproofing.

They sell the same addressable strip as Adafruit for something like $85 per 5m roll with no waterproofing. It was a breeze to program on arduino using Adafruit’s library.

You have to email for current pricing and to order, and I think payment might have involved wiring money, but it sure was worth it.

I should have a pic of my desk up later which has the RGB lights on it.