Knight Rider Light Bar

UPDATE (2/17/08): Added more videos to the bottom of this post.

UPDATE (2/17/08): Code is available here.

I’m making a Knight Rider (KITT) Light Bar to celebrate the premier of the new Knight Rider Made-For-TV Movie (tomorrow night on NBC). I’m using an Arduino Diecimila board and 18 LEDs.

Here’s a picture from a few hours ago. The LEDs are now much more aligned and some of the wiring has since been cleaned up, but the photo will give you the general idea.

Materials (so far): FedEx box (temporary; looking for a suitable plastic container) with black construction paper for the housing. Arduino, 18 LEDs (wired to 9 output pins on the arduino – two LEDs in parallel per pin), 9 75 ohm resistors (note, 75 is not the right value, but they were the closest I had). The faceplate is made of cardboard, tissue paper (light diffusion) and some cheap car-window-sun-shade-material I found at Target.

Here’s what it looks like in action (this vid is from the afternoon, before the housing and faceplate were ready):

If you haven’t already, consider reading this article about the guys who built the real thing!

New Video: In the box, during daylight.

New Video: Out of the box.

New Video: Arduino and wiring.

36 responses to “Knight Rider Light Bar”

  1. jordan says :

    it looks good

  2. Juan Perera says :

    tell me where and how to purchase this and how much?

  3. Allen Hong says :

    very cool! any chance you will be publishing instructions for building?

  4. John Tokash says :

    I’ll definitely publish a schematic as it’s really straightforward. The code is already linked from the site.

    The housing/mounting is the real challenge now.

    • Miguel says :

      the first video of the lights are cool, but they move wrong, they should go side o side not in & out & out & in

  5. John Tokash says :

    Juan, I don’t plan on selling kits, but my final howto will have a list of materials so you can make it yourself.

  6. papa says :

    you should put an animated gif to stay in the coolness attitude of this project 😉 and show how good it works :p

  7. Lotmi127 says :

    … I’d love to put something like this into my toaster 🙂

  8. Brandon says :

    I think a bike commuter version would be awesome 🙂

  9. Felipe says :


    Great project!! Very cool. I skimmed over the code and it seems you are using digital outputs and controlling the fade by “blinking them” at different frequencies, is that correct? Did you considered using a capacitor to control the fade? Thanks again, great project. Long live the Arduino.

  10. kb says :

    Where can I find the design for this project it looks like it will be fun to try and build

  11. Sid guglielmino says :


    Love your project and thanks for including the code.

    I am however having trouble as it won’t verify in my Arduino 10.

    I’m getting the error:

    expected constructer, destructor, or type conversion before ‘int’

    This error highlights the top line of code.

    Can you help?


  12. bryan says :

    Very cool.Just tell how much and how to get it.

  13. malcolmsaltzman says :

    dud i want ot mak this can u tell me how and show me the a good pic of it

  14. malcolmsaltzman says :

    dud i want ot mak this can u tell me how and show me the a good pic of it plese

  15. rich says :

    inst of it moving from the sides in. can u make it move bak and forth like the real kitt?

  16. Ayinde says :

    please let me know how to make one or buy one thank you

  17. phnx says :

    Any progress with the schematics? I found your project from the YouTube video and it\’s definitely what I think to be the best of what I saw (exception being the one from the guys that made the one for the movie- but theirs is way more complicated).

    I would really like to build one of these, but subing blue for red. Also, is 18 the max number of LED\’s the Diecimila will support?

    But anyhow, only thing keeping me from ordering up a Diecimila is lack of schematics- waddya say?

  18. RAZOR says :

    What a creation!! when u planning to show how 2 do it. cant wait. superb & Nice

  19. Marc says :


  20. soltis says :

    how much and where do i send the money… not joking. i want one

  21. stray says :

    You did a great job of course, now what we all have been waiting for is the schematics, no need to make it pretty, draw it on a piece of paper and scan it, we\’ll all be happy and then can actually emulate your project thus making you a hero to the most likely thousands of people that have been waiting for you to post the schematic.

  22. stray says :

    heres a link most might find useful, its a place to buy a kit to build the arduino.

    im ordering one afer i post this 😀

  23. albert says :

    Love to know the schematic for this… when would you post it… I would be so grateful. What does the code mean> Im noob!

  24. Jason says :

    I have a quick question…what is an ardurion? I have a knight rider light I built but I like the flow of yours much better. Will you be making a “how to” on the circuit and the schematic? Thanks

  25. shane downey says :

    very cool i am looking to buy or make one of these for my car….top secret 1000 hp monster 🙂 can i get parts list and instructions or would yo make one for me…i can do the housing no problem

  26. Camron says :

    it’s really cool DIY there…

    i would like to q’s abt the board.

    how many lcd can be supported by single Arduino Diecimila board?

    thank you very much..

  27. KoRnhead13 says :


    Have you replied to anyone with a price? I want to grab this from you.

    I really don’t know anything about electronics or programming any circuit boards!

    Have you made a sellable version.

  28. casturi says :

    hello there….im intrested with ur project…can u teach me how to do…im really beginner for electronic…can u give me list part shud have…and how to place n solder all things…tq

    nway…im from malaysia…nice to know u…

  29. Michael says :

    Hello would love to have a parts list. I am trying to locate a kitt light for my 05 mustang with the Shelby style hood. I am coming up short though. I am trying to find a diagram using 40 LED, 20 on the left and 20 on the right. hopefully that will light the hood scoops adequately. I want to get as close to the new knight rider look as i can at lest movement wise. IE Light starts form center lighting both bars to where all leds are on. Then the bars would fad out starting form the center. Next the bars would light from the outer ends of the bar going to center until the bars are completely on and once again the bar would fad out this time form the end to the center….. and so on

    any help would be welcomed

  30. Jonathan says :

    Hey, just wondering if you could shoot me an email on this project… just wondering if you ever finshed yours?

  31. Paul says :

    Im very very interested in building this but i want to try it in ultra white LEDs.
    I have modified Leds to the entire interior of my car but have absolutely NO clue how to put together with the control unit. Really wanna have a go though. Love the effect you have created, its almost biomechanical ethereal and gives it a real sense of intelligence.
    Any chance of seeing how to put one together? would love to see a circuit diagram 🙂 will this work with 12V ?

  32. Algis says :

    I just got my arduino today 46 leds and some other stuff, i will try to re make the process with pics and so on, as soon as i have it done, I will try to make a guide 😀

  33. shamra design says :

    very cool! Im very very interested in building this circuit. Hope you can share the schematic . I just learn about PIC controller. I will share the knowledge in my blog.

  34. vvire says :

    very cool project. I’d like to try to built it for myself, but as I’m a complete newby in arduino and simply have done some first tutorials with leds, please can you show a schematic sketch for how to wire the whole thing? Please!

  35. Gabriela Murphy says :

    Nice creation . Good idea.

    Garden Lanterns

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