Ever Hear of an Arduino? / LED Lighting

So I’m going to throw this one out to you. Did you ever hear of an Arduino before?  Neither had I, until I began the build for this guitar.  Here’s how it all began…

I was on the search for a good LED backlight for the body of this guitar.  You see, the LED lights from the KAOSS Pad are not attached to the touch screen, and are built onto the PCB board for the base unit.  This means that I’m going to have to create my own lighting for this thing to look REALLY cool.

After searching the net, I found a site called MakerSHED.com.  This is a very cool site for the at-home do it yourselfer, and has a TON of great parts for lighting.  I managed to locate one LED unit that has a programmable, three color light shift:

For only $13, I can buy this unit, and program it to color shift a variety of color and rhythm patterns.  Much cooler than just having a static blue or green led backlight, right?  So after getting my heart set on this cool new feature, I read the technical specs and find out that I need an Arduino Programmable Microprocessor IO Board.  Huh?  Well this is an Arduino:

After researching this little toy, I find out that Arduino have revolutionized the at-home DIY scene.  It allows people like myself to program electronic interactions, for things like smart LED blinkers, with relative ease.  The only downside to this is that an Arduino is another $39.  The upside to this is that once you’ve programmed the LED light, you don’t have to fit the entire Arduino in the body of the guitar.  Like a certain television salesman always says, “set it and forget it”.  So now it’s math time: $13 for an LED + $39 for an Arduino (that I’ll probably use once or twice) = much more than I wanted to spend on a lighting solution for this guitar.  
So I turn to eBay.  Apparently you can purchase Arduino from Hong Kong resellers at STEEP discounts.  For this kit, I ended up saving about 70% off of retail.  Granted, the Hong Kong “Arduino” is probably an excellent forgery, but the reviews I’ve read say they function exactly the same.  Gotta love those “low cost” alternatives!

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