Make Your Own Interactive LED Dining Table

Evil Mad Scientist shares how to tech out the dining table into a light show using a frosted glass top and 448 LEDs. And the most amazing part is the lighting system plans result in a table that reacts to diner's motions...

The LEDs are controlled by a 16-node 1-D analog computer network. Each node has an amplified photodiode that senses changes in ambient light above its region of the table. An analog integrator (memory) averages that signal along with input from its neighbors, and the resulting signal is used to drive one of two strands of 14 LEDs (depending on polarity) with intensity that depends on the integrated value. Each node consists of one photodiode, one quad op-amp IC, nine resistors, and four capacitors that we hand-soldered onto a tiny piece of plain perfboard. We mounted the nodes to sheets of masonite pegboard, such that the output LEDs fit through the holes. After (a dozen or so evenings of) soldering, the pegboard with its electronics and a power supply was set into a stained-wood table frame that we made out of birch and poplar, and topped with glass recycled from a desk top.

If you don't want to make one, you can just order one directly from Evil Mad Scientist, but if you're feeling up to it, download the free PDF schematics