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Arduino-Controlled LED System for the Hacksmith’s Batmobile

By The Hacksmith

The Hacksmith has been trying to make a batmobile over the past few months. It still has a long way to go, so at this point, it has been dubbed the “Batman Baja”. The team started by putting two electric motors on a Baja racing frame and, of course, painting it black. The Hacksmith team then went to work adding Batman gadgets to it. The Batman baja now has incredibly bright LEDs to blind evil-doers. LED strips for buggies are common, but they normally come with only two modes: on and off. When it comes to the Hacksmith’s projects, stock functionality is never enough, so the team made a special control system for the lights with an Arduino. Check out the Arduino controlled lighting system in the video below!


The LEDs are connected to a 24V battery and power is distributed through 4 Arduino relay shields each with 4 relays. The LEDs are controlled by a 10 digit USB keypad connected to an Arduino with a USB host shield. In total, the LEDs can produce over 100,00 lumens. The relays and controller sit in a 3D printed case behind the driver’s seat to protect the circuit from James’ inevitable crashing. Different key combinations will trigger different light sequences. For example: holding down ENTER and typing “007” will trigger strobe lights and typing “1337” while holding down ENTER will make the LEDs flash in a circular motion like a lighthouse. Currently, only 11 of the 16 relays have assigned functions, so the Hacksmith team is taking suggestions for the final 5 functions. One of those functions is likely to be a roman candle launcher, so you better you hurry! You can see how it was constructed below.

Bill of Materials

Arduino UNO

Arduino USB Host Shield

Arduino Relay Shield x4

Jumper Wires

Power Wires


Arduino Code

The Arduino code maps certain inputs from the keyboard to certain lights. There are also pre-programmed combinations like the “007” and “1337” mentioned above.

Copy Code
    if (cheatCode == "989895") {
bypassON = true;

if (cheatCode == "89919195") {
Serial.println("SPIN ME ROUND!");
bypassON = true;

You can download the LED sequence code here and dig around for more Easter eggs! 

More Hacksmith Innovations

If you enjoyed this project, be sure to check out QWOP Made Real, Torbjörn's Turret From Overwatch Made Real, and Climb Like Spider-Man with Electric Climbing Clamps. You can also find more Hacksmith projects on their Youtube channel.

Key Parts and Components

Add all Digi-Key Parts to Cart
  • 1050-1018-ND
  • 1597-1146-ND
  • 1528-1162-ND
  • C1358-500-ND