The DIY electronics portion AliExpress website can be a time-sink for the unwary because one tempting project leads to another.
Do you remember the little boy in the movie The Sixth Sense — the one who says: “I see ghosts everywhere”? Well, I feel the same way about flashing light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Earlier today, for example, my chum Alvin sent me a link to a rather interesting Glow Tube Digital Click Kit on AliExpress.
It looks like the “tubes” each contain ten sheets of acrylic that are laser etched with the digits 0 through 9. This is a similar concept to the Lixie Displays created by Connor Nishijima (the ones I’m using in my Countdown Timer project).
I must admit that this clock is tasty, but I fought the temptation because I have more than enough projects on the go to keep me busy at the moment.
The problem when you are on a site like AliExpress is that — much like YouTube — you keep on being tempted by more and more items. For example, a very affordable 8x8x8 LED Cube (these aren’t tricolor LEDs, but it’s nicely done), a tempting Audio-Reactive Artifact (this one does use tricolor LEDs), and a tasty Dance Light Kit that’s hard to describe (watch the video on product page) but that I want to build. Although this latter kit uses only unicolor LEDs, the effects achieved by the programmers are indisputably droolworthy.
To be honest, I can’t believe how cheap some of these little scamps are, such as this 3D LED Ball at only US$8.96 (with $1.68 shipping to the USA).
This site is a rabbit hole just waiting for the unsuspecting visitor to fall in. Speaking of which, if you find yourself on AliExpress and you see a particularly tasty flashing LED kit, please share the news with the rest of us in the comments below.