Idea 012 - LED Constellation Star map

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This post is part of the 100 project ideas project. #The100DayProject. I am looking for feedback. Comment below or DM me via social media Instagram, Twitter.

One Line Pitch

Constellation map PCB made with overlapping LEDs


There are 88 commonly recognizable constellations from the perspective of earth (9,110 stars visible to the unaided eye). Each of these constellations without their lines can be seen as a pin hole scattering of individual lights. The lights could be represented as illuminated LEDs on a black PCB.

I want to create a black PCB with a scattering of LEDs on it. The LEDs could be illuminated in a series to show each and every constellation from the perspective of earth as a pinhole constellation.

There are far too many constellations to have LEDs for each start in every constellation. Instead I could write a program that takes the ratios of distances of the positions of the stars in the constellation then rotate and scale the constellations as needed to find the fewest number of LEDs that would be required to construct the most amount of constellations possible.

The brightness of the star could also be represented if I have brightness control over the LEDs too. Or if the LEDs are RGB then the type of the star could also be represented too. Or the LEDs could be colored in RED for night mode.

The LED slowly fades out one by one between each constellation, then fades in with the new constellation to make a pleasing twinkling animation.

I see these panels mostly as art installations, but they could also be used as flashcards for constellations where you need to guess the name of the constellation before it switches to the next one. Or it could be a movie prop in a science fiction show. The manual backup star map for incase the main computers go down.

To the layman this panel would look like randomly assorted LEDs, but to anyone who was in the know it would be a star map. Insider knowledge makes people feel smart and feel special as they are part of the in crowd.

List of all the commonly known constellations

Prior art

Sky projectors - There are plenty of sky constellations projectors that shine light onto your ceiling. These aren’t what i am going for as they are a little childish


Space geeks, Art lovers, people that just like things that blink.

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