The Cumulus LED Sculpture Turns Sounds into Light

By: Ady Floyd - Jun 2, 2015
References: softlabnyc & thecreatorsproject.vice
This storm cloud look-a-like is an LED sculpture that releases bursts of light induced by sound. It is called 'Cumulus' because of its cloud-esque appearance and the fact that it mimics the idea of lightning.

It is made from 70 meters of LED lights and 3D-printed connectors that react to sound. When a particular sound level is reached, the Cumulus is activated. The LED segments are connected through three Arduino microcontrollers, enabling a visual barometer to gauge the mood and vibes within the room. Once the sound level is reached, the light beams seek a path that is decided by the volume. An algorithm then lets a variety of interesting paths erupt, which results in different lengths of light bursts.

This simple algorithm creates a wide range of effects from long lightning-like strands created through sporadic low-frequency sounds to a static chatter when people are talking underneath it.