An artist friend of mine asked me to create a light effect that he could use as part of one of his sculptures. The effect was to simulate bright white lightening that would illuminate a long thick clear acrylic rod.
I designed a unit to create random timing, random intensity light pattern that illuminated a 1W white LED. In addition, I added a control that allowed the user to modulate the intensity of the effect from turned off all the way to full on.
The unit is based on an Arduino Nano that creates a random timing, random intensity light pattern to drive the 1W LED using a power FET. Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is used to modulate the intensity of the LED. The software also takes an analogue input from the potentiometer to allow the user to control the intensity of the light pattern; ranging from all off to full on.
The FLICKER electronics is housed in a small two-part HDPE enclosure with also contains the input and output jacks, a rotary intensity control and an opening onto the miniUSB port of the Nano.