Saturday, 22 August 2015

About the author

I have not been a fan of standing on the Lego bricks that Ole Kirk Christianen started making in 1949, but apart from that I’m obsessed with them. Inspired by the “Kiddicraft Self-Locking Building Brick” that were being produced in Britain by Harry Page, he filed a patent in 1958 and was granted it in 1961 for his take on a plastic interlocking building brick.

I've always been a software guy. I got into writing software when my father decided to do a computer science degree when I was 11 and headed off to get a Commodore Vic-20 computer to further his studies. Now I write computer programs for the insurance industry and have been doing that for almost 30 years.

I’m also a big fan of night-time and low-light photography, so taking pictures of lit up Lego models scratched two itches, and writing software to do interesting and unusual effects was an added bonus.
Our house is full of all sorts of models from mini-figures to a Sopwith camel – but mainly buildings both based on those in the real world and the imagination, outer space or just plain crazy.
This was easy I found, so I expended the research into more complex lighting, the lighting up of a fluorescent tube, the lights in a cinema, the random characteristics of a candle flame or fire all captivated me, and I kept notes about my experiments.

My aim with this book is to show you my research, and get you involved with your kids or your kid at heart, like me, to create something interesting. You may also learn about some products you didn’t know existed; and hopefully have fun with them.

As the electronics industry is always moving so quickly, some things might be outdated with newer versions of both hardware and software available, so bear this in mind. Even so, you will get a framework to get you going.

I plan on laying this book out in three main sections. The first will be the componants you can choose to use to do the actual lighting. Secondly I will lay out the options for automating effects using programmable devices, and the software involved in that. Finally I will show you some of the things I’ve done involving all the options, so you can consider what you want for your project.

Have fun.

It all started with a well thought out brick.

You can quickly see the possibilities

[Light bulb picture]
An LED, a watch battery, and a clip or peg is all you need.
Simply insert the battery between the wires of the LED, clip it on using the Bulldog clip, or a clothes peg, and insert it into a Lego Technic piece. Very simple, and also serves as an easy way to try out lighting in large models before you wire it into place.
[LED, Bulldog Clip, Technic piece and paper]

[Beach Hut]