Lighting at the space

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Solid State Depot LED Lighting System



Lobby Lighting
RGB Cylinder

Provide the space at 1965 33rd Street with state-of-the-art LED lighting for ambiance and function using several different technologies and systems.

QualColorâ„¢ Color Wash Lighting

Member Dan Julio donated and installed a set of systems that were used to prototype the QualColor lighting control system he developed. These systems control a multitude of different color wash light fixtures and signs using a proprietary mixed RF and wired network. They are controlled by a donated Embedded Windows XP touchscreen computer running a custom application called ssd_hack. ssd_hack allows a user to control any QualColor fixture directly or run thematic programs that randomly vary the colors of all the fixtures according to a selected theme. It also enables control of the lighting system by another computer on the network for hacking purposes. The fixtures range from prototype LED arrays with varying configurations of color LEDS (RGB, RGBW, RGBAW) to RGB Strip arrays to RGB DMX fixtures. The LED controllers are individually addressed with a Zone and Unit address and contain color space interpolators and configurable output mapping allowing color specifications in the HSV color space to control different output LED configurations. Each controller may be set individually or in groups to specific HSV colors or may be instructed to fade from the current color to a new HSV color over a period of time. Each controller may also be instructed to run an internal program which can either fade between randomly selected colors or cycle through the rainbow colors at a variety of speeds.

Functional Lighting


Warm white LED strip arrays and a prototype touch dimmer donated by Alicia Gibb and Dan Julio are used to provide functional lighting in the lobby and 3d printing/electronics room.

Red Bull Creation 2013 Encabulatrix

Solid State Depot's Encabulatrix fixture, using the RedBull Creation 2013 Encabulator, is installed in the bay area and programmed to run randomly selected effects. The Encabulatrix is also on the SSD network and may be controlled by an external computer for hacking purposes.


Color Wash Lighting

Zone 1: Signs

SSD Sign
  • Solid State Depot Sign: Address Zone 1, Unit 1

Zone 2: Lobby

  • Main Lobby Walls RGB Strip Fixture (4 strips): Address Zone 2, Unit 1
  • Lobby Door RGB Strip Fixture: Address Zone 2, Unit 2
  • Far Lobby Wall 5 strip Fixture: Five LED arrays connected to three controllers. The outmost two arrays are Address Zone 2, Unit 3. The next two arrays are Address Zone 2, Unit 4 and the innermost array is Address Zone 2, Unit 5
  • Cylinder Fixture: Address Zone 2, Unit 6
  • Globe Fixture: Address Zone 2, Unit 7

Zone 3: Bay

Bay Uplight
  • Five Fixture Uplight (Bay Bar): Five fixtures with Address Zone 3, Units 1-5
  • DMX Fixture 1 (HB LEDs): Address Zone 3, Unit 6
  • DMX Fixture 2 (long with 10 mm LEDs): Address Zone 3, Unit 7


  • Embedded Touchscreen computer: Controls all QualColor fixtures directly, via thematic programs or by providing a UDP interface for other computers on the network.
  • Lobby wall mounted Touchpad: Directly controls the hue, saturation and intensity of all fixtures in Zone 2.
  • Bay wall mounted Touchpad: Directly controls the hue, saturation and intensity of all fixtures in Zone 3.
  • Solid State Depot Sign Touchpad: Directly controls the hue, saturation and intensity of the Solid State Depot sign.
  • Cylinder Fixture Touchpad: Directly controls the hue, saturation and intensity of the Cylinder fixture.
  • Six-button remote: Each button is mapped to a different function. There are two buttons per row. Functions assigned to each button are listed below.
    • Top Row:
      • Left: All Lights Fade off
      • Right: All Lights Fade on white
    • Middle Row:
      • Left: All fixtures run built-in program to cycle between rainbow colors
      • Right: All fixtures run built-in program to fade between randomly selected colors
    • Bottom Row:
      • Left: SSD sign runs built-in program to cycle between rainbow colors
      • Right: SSD sign runs built-in program to fade between randomly selected colors

Note that directly setting the color of a fixture using one of the Touchpad or Touchscreen controls will stop any automatically running program on that fixture (will not stop a thematic program running on the Touchscreen computer). Sending commands via the UDP interface on the Touchscreen computer will stop any currently running thematic program.

Functional Lighting

  • Lobby Lighting: Controlled by the prototype touch dimmer mounted on the cabinet next to the refrigerator.
  • Desktop Lighting in the 3d printing/electronics room: Controlled by an on/off switch on each desk.


The Encabulator controls two sets of lighting. Eight RGB strips radially extending from the center of the fixture and 60 WS2811 individually addressible LEDs in a strip surrounding the Encabulator. The RGB strips are in one zone and the WS2811 LEDs are in another zone. Each strip and WS2811 has a unique unit address. In addition to the unit addresses, each strip and WS2811 exists in four group addresses as well. Group addresses allow one command to simultaneously address more than one unit address. The Encabulator is controlled by an Arduino Duemilanove. Please see the link below to the sketch for a list of all group addresses by unit address.

  • RGB Strips: Address Zone 10, Units 1-8
  • WS2811 LEDs: Address Zone 11, Units 1-60


The Color Wash lights provide mechanisms for other programs to control them.

QualColor Interface

The QualColor lights may be controlled by any program on the Solid State Depot network capable of sending UDP packets to the IP address of the Windows XP Embedded touchscreen control computer running the ssd_hack program. The third pane on the touchscreen displays the IP address and port number to access, describes the packet formats and lists the controlled fixture addresses. The packets allow control over fixture colors using either RGB or HSV color spaces, triggering an automatic program or finding the current status of ssd_hack. Colors may be set immediately or at the end of a fade. The fixtures may be addressed individually using specific Zone and Unit addresses or in groups using Zone and Group Addresses. A zero value in an address field acts as a wildcard addressing all fixtures with that field.


Arduino Sketch Media: ssd_encabulator_5.ino.txt (strip off the .txt suffix)

The Encabulatrix is on the network at IP address, port 9000 and accepts UDP packets using an Arduino ethernet shield. UDP commands to the Encabulatrix stop any currently running program. The Encabulatrix will start running random effects 5 minutes after the last valid command from the ethernet interface. The Encabulatrix accepts the following four, six-byte UDP packet commands:

  • SetRGBGroup: 0x01 [ZONE] [GROUP] [R] [G] [B]
  • SetRGBUnit: 0x02 [ZONE] [UNIT] [R] [G] [B]
  • SetHSVGroup: 0x03 [ZONE] [GROUP] [H] [S] [V]
  • SetHSVUnit: 0x04 [ZONE] [UNIT] [H] [S] [V]

Where each field is one byte. [ZONE] is the zone address (10 for the RGB Strips, 11 for the WS2811 pixels) and [UNIT] or [GROUP] are 8-bit unit or group addresses. A value of zero in any address field is a wildcard, matching all addresses. [R], [G] and [B] are 8-bit intensity values for each primary color. [H] is a value 0 - 0xFF representing the hue in the standard hue circle (0-359 degrees). [S] is the saturation (0xFF for fully saturated colors). [V] is the intensity.

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