The finished Tree of Life (photo by Scott Daigle)
The Tree of Life is an interactive project designed for the nighttime. Over 600 feet of super-bright LED rope light were cut into segments that were suspended inside a 3v dome to form a tree. One segment is connected to each vertex and one to the middle of each strut for the top three ranks of the dome. It is remarkably bright and yet still uses only about 60 watts of power (about 5 amps at 12 volts).
Each segment has a blue base, a white branch and a green leaf. The segments are joined end-to-end using a technique developed just for the Tree of Life. You can read about it here:
LED Rope Light Connections
Each segment is on by default, but a control panel allows people to turn off segments simply by dragging a magnet across the panel. When the magnet passes over a magnetic reed switch on the control panel, the corresponding segment goes off. People are welcome to lay underneath the tree of life and look up through it while other people play with the control panel.
This project is based on the
l0l interactive Sea Anemone that had 144 CoolNeon segments and was also controlled by the same magnetic control panel. But, with l0l, all the segments were off by default, and the control panel turned them on. To reverse the logic, 56 12volt relays were employed.
Many thanks to Benny James at CoolNeon.com for his collaboration on this project. His support was absolutely essential to its success.
The magnetic control panel