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I am creating a simple demo of LED strip animation in Blender. Currently I'm planning to use Blender Render, not Cycles (I'm less familiar with Cycles).

I have already created LED meshes themselves (just a tiny boxes along a curve) and now I'm thinking what would be the best way to add actual lights to make them look and work somewhat realistically (at least, as it's possible in Blender Render).

Additional problem is that I'm going to add a semitransparent screen object in front of these LEDs and I'll need to achieve an edge-lit effect - to make the colors of the LEDs blend on the screen.

Should I use a material with high emit value or should I create spotlights or pointlights? And what would be the easiest way to animate the LED colors for each individual LED?

For reference of what I would like to achieve, here are two videos:

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Idle Chit-chat

I am not familiar with all the LED terms you used, so I just answered the bolded question. BR is a good engine, and although Cycles might be better, there is a great way to do it in each. Similarly, I will include instructions for both.

Blender Render

I believe it might be best to use a point/spot lamp inside the mesh and control the color/strength from the lamp settings AND shader Diffuse color settings.

Add a lamp inside your cubic mesh. Set the color and strength to the desired effect. Add a shader to the mesh. Change the Diffuse color to correspond with the lamp color. Change the Emit strength to 2, the max. Here's the key: Uncheck Traceable in the settings. Procedure described and explained further here around 40:00.

Cycles

Use an Emission shader and set the color and strength as desired. You will need to set the strength in the hundreds or thousands to see it light up. That's it; ta-da!

Hope this helps and happy Blending!

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Using Cycles you can do an array of lights like the one outlined in this answer: How to control many tiny lights Where you have a texture controlling the intensity of the lights in the array, and you just add a different texture to control the color of the lights.

enter image description here

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