Interactive LED Dining Table

This is our dining table. We built it because we needed a new dining table, and I guess we’re just that kind of people. It has a frosted glass top lit by 448 multicolored LEDs that respond, in a complex and gentle fashion, to input generated by motion above the table while we eat.We showed it off at the Maker Faire. Click on the photo to get to see some other photos of the table construction. Lenore was interviewed about the table at the faire, see Lenore’s CNET inteview.

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.

Watch a short low-res video: Interactive LED Dining Table movie (3 MB quicktime .mov).
Read the LED Dining table PDF Picture book, showing the construction of the table. (5.5 MB PDF file)

We’re not selling this design; we’re giving it away as a free design.

If you do want to buy an LED table, please consider checking out the Coffee Tables.
A bunch of blogs picked this up. Amongst others, our table has been featured on:

LED Dining table [Make blog]
MAKE: Blog: Get your Maker Faire tags ready… [Make blog]
LED Dining table [digg]
LED Dining table, for a Dazzling Dinner [Home Tone]
Have A Romantic Dinner By Funky LED Lit Table [Gizmowatch]
Hacked Gadgets Forum[Hacked Gadgets]
LED Dining Table [electro^plankton]
LED Dining table []
Interactive LED Dining Table [TechEBlog]
LED Dining table [TeamDroid]
Permanent Link to LED Dining Table [My-coke]
LED Dining Room Table [DarkCreek]
LED Dining table at Rainbow In The Dark [rainbowinthedark]
LED Dining Table Adds Excitement To Your Party [CyberNetNews] []
LED Dining Room Table – Cool Pictures [funmansion]
Flickr Woodworking Project: LED Dining Table []
“photo of the day” []
Jason Bradbury’s blog
and of course we’re number two on the list of Top 10 Strangest Kitchen Gadgets

Lenore, LED dining table.
Bonus picture: Lenore hangs out with the table during the makerfaire.

14 thoughts on “Interactive LED Dining Table

  1. to bad it does not react to heat. you would know if your soup is getting cold.

    1. Hey, is that an orange pot pipe on the shelf in the background? That thing’s huge!!


      1. It took me a moment to figure out what you might be referring to. At first I
        thought that you might mean our cat, who is indeed huge
        and orange. I think you mean the orange horizontal structures on
        the shelf in the movie. Those are actually part of an (ugly) orange set of
        eyestalks, which we picked up around halloween. We had intended to use
        them as part of a flying spaghetti
        crown, but we ended up building our own set (in white)

        Windell H. Oskay

  2. Is it possible to get schematics for the table?
    I would love to build one… not as big and all… but yeah

  3. Hi, would it be possible to get a copy of the circuit diagrams for the dining table?
    thanks very much.

    1. Not right now. Last time that I sent one for private use, it got posted on the net. So, I’m rather turned off to the idea of privately e-mailing schematics.

      Maybe at some point I’ll write up a version of this as a project for the web site, though.

      Windell H. Oskay

    2. It’s on the main page.. click on <b>read more</b>

      I suspect it’s basically the same as the LED panels. Leave out the small 39pF caps and tune the oscillation.

      Anyway: THANK YOU!

  4. I liked it, until I tried to create one. I have tried 5-6 times to create and nothing … I do not work.

    Can one node work independently ?

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