We are thinking about purchasing Blue and Red LED Strips to put under the robot for underglow, but after looking through the FRC Manual, I could not find anything on this subject. I was wondering if First allows Underglow during the competition?
No rules prohibiting it. Just realize that you have to power them off the robot battery and they can’t be an “interference”. You do not need to be able to run them on a Spike, plugging them into the PDB works too, but you would need a switch to go between red or blue. You may want to get RGB LEDs and run them on spikes so they can be used as status lights as well. RGBs wired and coded correctly will display 7 different colors which gives you some room to play with.
They can provide information even if they are just powered off the PD. The cheap ones we use dim pretty quickly when the voltage drops, so we can tell when we are pulling a lot of current or when our battery is low by looking at the lights. It’s also a really bright way to tell you that your robot is powered on. Standing behind the driver station looking at a non-glowing robot means you forgot something pretty important before the match.
Just to be sure, you are talking LEDs, not neon. While many teams use lighting, they do have to conform to all rules, electrical and others. That being said, be sure to secure them and protect them from damage. The field supervisors have to pick up what you drop.
We’ve used lights in the past. I recommend getting a single-throw switch. I run the blue/red lights to their own respective spikes and then the light switch to sidecar. Depending on the position of the switch it would turn the spike with the right color lights on.
You don’t want to have to recompile your code based just on what alliance you are on.