Robot lighting

I am interested in looking into making our robot have some better curb appeal for next year and after seeing some great lighting on robots this year was wondering how people have done theirs. If we do decide to put lights on the robot next year they will probably be controlled with an arduino uno or Mega depending upon the amount of lights we use and would communicate between it and the Crio via I2C. My question here is how would I program this in both Java (for the Crio) and using the Arduino sketchbook (for the arduino)?

Also what lights are most recommended for use on a robot. I would like them to be fairly bright but not overly expensive (we are on a budget). I don’t believe we would need individually addressable LEDs on the strip however would like RGB to give us some variety.

Finally after seeing bots such as 118 I am curious as to how teams achieve a look where it appears all of the light from the LEDs is even all throughout the lit areas as can be seen here. The only way I can think of achieving this is by placing smoked poly-carbonate in front of the LEDs. Any and all help/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

If you want individually controllable RGB LEDs I would suggest one of these strips:
and if you want a simpler strip that’s RGB but controlled all together you might go for this.
or if you wanted more local lighting you could try the segments.

I feel like controlling them with the CRio would be fairly simple; I’ve programmed an LED strip like the first one in C++ on and Arduino with very little coding experience and it worked fine.
Anyway, hope this helped.

I am almost certain we would go with analog LED strips to keep costs down and to keep things simple (first time doing this after all). After taking some look around I wondered if these here would work. They appear to use the same connectors as the one on adarfruit however considerably cheaper. $16.00 for 5m instead of the $16.00 for 1m on adafruit.

That would probably work, you would just have to identify the control and power leads when you wire it up.

I believe that the addressable lights are worth the extra money, once you have the addressable lights, you can turn them into something very helpful and very pretty. For example, this year we (are working on making it so we) have lights that display our shooter speed. You can’t really do that with the analog ones, it’s much easier to tell if all of the LEDs are green instead of white than to tell if they are the correct shade of green. About the I2C, we have been working on it and I created a document showing what we messed up and how to make it work,