Mike Szczys of Hack a Day wound up wiring 70 LEDs into a hollowed-out pumpkin, giving his gourd a programmable 5-by-14 LED matrix display. The prep process was pretty straightforward: Gut the orange autumnal squash, clean out its inside, and cut an access hatch. After that, LED-ifying your pumpkin involves breaking out the soldering iron, programming a microcontroller, and drilling holes with an LED-sized drillbit.
If you want to follow along and create your own Cucurbita digitala, Mike’s tutorial is very thorough, even if you don’t have much LED matrix-designing experience. If you start now, you’ll probably have it ready in time for Halloween!
What would you display on an LED matrix on your jack-o-lantern? My guess that it’d be something like, “sorry, out of candy” since a hack-o-lantern like this on your front steps would be a sure sign that yours is a house worth visiting. Happy hacking and carving from GeekTech.
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Alessondra Springmann used to carve giant pumpkins with a Sawzall and hole saw. In college she wired up a pumpkin with four LEDs which changed in color. Her professors thought it was cute. Follow her and GeekTech on Twitter.