There are several reasons that I am hesitent in using animation.
For my work, I wish for it to just be there. Does a painting in a museum flash or blink? No. It just sits there on the wall of the gallery allowing you to enjoy it at your own desire.
As a light artist, I feel that I have to distingush myself from a sign designer, which is a whole different field with it's own requirements.
Signs, including billboards as well as entrance signs for businesses are intended to attract your attention and point you to go into that business.
My role is to inspire your own imagination; not to ask you to come into my building and buy something.
I have been told by people that they appreciate the constant light. What has been said that they would not want me to be 'the Vegas Strip'.
I feel that the interaction of the light, the medium, and the viewer is a more natural and interactive animation than something that is pre-planned and presented whether the viewer wants it or not.
Light, or LED Art, is to me a delicate form of art. It does not take much for me to inadvertantly create a 'Vegas Strip' out of a piece of art. I have designed active animation into two of my jewelry pieces, only to remove it from those same pieces a few weeks later based on reactions from friends.
I have been exploring what I call active light (blinking, animation, changing colors, etc) for my raincoats. The following pictures demonstrate the challenges that I am facing with the current affordable technology.
The following picture is of a high power tri-color LED that can be used to drive a piece of optical fiber that I would sew into one of my raincoats.
Even with that piece of copper, the LED still gets quite hot. Having done some tests, I have found it to be almost hot enough to soften the heavy clear vinyl that I currently use for my raincoats. If I use any other vinyl, it most likely would have been hot enough to melt and tear through the material.
That single LED, by the way, with three colors, takes about 1 1/2 amps total current to drive it.
Such a large ammount of current is necessary due to the relative inefficiency of the coupling between the LED and the optical fiber.
The optical fiber is intended for room lighting; not clothing; therefore efficiency for low power and flexibility for apparrel was never intended.
The copper add close to 1/4 pound to the LED assembly. If I have four of these LED assemblies in a sleeve or cuff, that makes it close to 1 pound
Because this is a tri color LED, there are four wires going to it; common and one for each color.
The fiber that I would need to use with this LED is nearly 1/4 inch in diameter. A complete LED/fiber assmebly is shown below:
My current raincoats use 1/8th inch fiber which is far more flexible.
Each of these LED's also requires three drivers. The following picture shows a printed circuit board with three drivers; this circuit board is needed for each tri-color LED.
Each of the three large MOSFETS (the black square things on the right) are the drivers for each color's emitter element. Each element takes up to 700 milliampres of current.
Those MOSFETS get quiet warm. An hour long test with the MOSFET's held against the clear vinyl was enough for the vinyl to show a crease. And that test was done only only 350 milliampres; about 1/2 the power needed to provide decent light from the fiber.
The following image shows all of the electronics necessary to provide dynamic color changing for two multicolor LED's
Of course, I am quite open to suggestions on how I can improve my technology at a reasonable cost. Perhaps I have missed something. I can be reached at email@example.com.