I had some LED strip lighting available and I’d wanted an interesting Arduino project for a while so this was the perfect opportunity.
For the controller I used a standard Arduino Uno, and it was all powered by a 12v 300w power supply. I hung five 5m LED strips from their centre, from the center of an outdoor patio shade. Then I attached the outsides of the LED strip to the edges of the shade and ran a single signal wire through all the LED strip.
Because they were wired this way the LED addresses were not logically layed out, so they had be be re-mapped before I could reasonably create patterns with them. You can see in the github repo the function getPixel takes care of remapping the LEDs, it translates an arm number and a relative pixel number to an absolute pixel number.
After the pixels were re-mapped creating patterns was simply a matter of playing with loops. The code is easy to understand (thanks largely to the FastLED library) and can be viewed on github. The video below shows a quick loop of my favorite patterns, the first view from below, and the second from the side.