Glow Flow At Full Power

Once Glow Flow was armed with dual independent power supplies, each capable of delivering 25W of power, I was confident we can unleash the full power of this fully operational interactive LED sculpture. The Pixelblaze strip settings menu setting for maximum brightness was pushed all the way up to 100%, which the pattern code will happily use if the light sensor reads full brightness.

Modern LEDs are pretty bright, and these SK9822 are clones of the APA102C is know for an extreme range of control from dim to eye-blindingly bright. What’s the brightest thing I would hope for an LED creation? I would want it to be visible in broad daylight, so out into a bright sunny Southern California summer we go.

The verdict: a very admirable effort, but these LEDs are still overpowered by the sun.

Glow Flow outdoors - sun side

Looking on the brightly lit sun side, we can barely detect some of the LED colors. The fact that it is detectable at all is a tremendous accomplishment. Most of my other LED projects are simply invisible under a full early afternoon sun! In contrast these LEDs are still visibly illuminated under these circumstances behind the diffusers. Perhaps a diffuser held closer to the LEDs, possibly with a single layer, would be visible under direct sunlight. But it would not blend light as well as the current diffusers do, and I definitely prefer the blend.

Glow Flow outdoors - shade side

On the shady side, we could see more LED power shining through. Some bare LEDs are visible from this picture angle, and they are visible under these light circumstances.

It would have been impressive if Glow Flow worked under full sunlight, but our ball of burning gas at the middle of our solar system is still the more powerful light source. Still, this is more than enough power for Glow Flow to shine in any other scenario, and I’ll call it done here.

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