Did you have a Lite Brite when you were a kid? I did. That simple frame, illuminated by a single, blazing hot incandescent light bulb, seemed to hold infinite possibilities. I loved to create my masterpiece with the light bulb off, pushing colorful plastic pegs through the paper without a true idea of what it would look like. Then, the moment of truth as I lit the light bulb…presto! I was blown away by the stark contrast of the color against the black background every time.
In adulthood, the moment of truth comes every morning when the alarm clock tells me it’s time to get up, but my instinct is to throw it out the window. Perhaps that’s the internal struggle Lonnie Honeycut of Mean PC was trying to subdue when he designed this Lite Brite LED clock.
Honeycutt only recently returned to the world of electronics, but if this build is any indication, he’s no novice. The story goes that Honeycutt was staring at a pile of light emitting diodes from an 4X4 LED cube build, and noticed their striking similarity to Lite Bright pegs. He instantly wanted to build something that combined the two elements, so when his eyes lit upon a nearby alarm clock, it was on.
After a lot of soldering, wiring, and failed attempts, Honeycutt was finally successful. As this review points out, the Lite Brite clock basically consists of an Arduino, 46 LED’s, 12 resistors, a Lite Brite and a few other odds and ends. Check out Honeycutt’s 16 YouTube videos documenting the entire invention process here. If you fancy yourself an “upper-beginner level” hacker, you might want to make your own Lite Brite clock, so check out the Instructable here.