GROW YOUR OWN LED BONSAI.
Please note that there is a new version of the flowers used in this project. PCBs are also available to make your own techno bonsai with. See the project "Make LED flowers" above.
It seemed such a good idea to create a little wire tree with LED flowers... Unfortunately when I did the maths it transpired that it would require 128 tiny PCB's with 2816 hand drilled 1mm holes stuffed with 1152 LED's and 256 resistors, then wired with about 200m of solid core cable twisted painstakingly together then powered from a beefy 4A DC power supply.
It took a LONG time to build, mainly because it was done when I had the inclination, but it does look good and I suppose it qualifies as modern techno art (or something like that).
Here's the LED bonsai potted and lit up. The base is a flower pot and a disk of wood with a ring of holes for the wire "roots" to pass through. The wood is resined into the flower pot which is topped up with a mixture of peat and PVA to form a hard soil-like surface.
Here it is lit with flash to show more detail.
The number of flowers was chosen to be a binary multiple to make it easier to twist the wire together in a way that allows pairs of branches to combine progressively until there is just one big trunk of 256 wires going into the base. All 256 wires are electrically functional and were colour coded brown for +ve and green for -ve to make wiring easier while giving a natural appearance(!).
These are the two sides of a flower PCB. It consists of two series LED circuits with a current limiting resistor. The 330 ohm resistor is for a group of five LED's and the 470 ohm is for a group of four.
A group of eight outer LED's was chosen to make the design easier. The compact size meant that I couldn't orient the polarity of the LED's in a consistent manner which made assembly a bit more time consuming.
A completed flower looks quite pleasing in it's own right.