12 Oct

Addressable LED – how do they even?!

To say it was rather a last minute thing – the turn out was rather good! Despite Rob having man flu and Mark being on holiday, somehow, we managed to get stuff to work! No doubt due to the hard work of clever chaps Neil, Graham and new guys Brian and Dan. That left the rest of us wondering what the heck was going on… But by the end of the session, us newbs had some LEDs blinking, using libraries and even some hand written code!


We took over the Interior Architecture studio this time round, as the Old School house was pre booked, and I no longer have the workshop key. We managed to stay there till 10:45! General consensus was that the group enjoyed the space – having desks to work on and chairs that fit under them. We also had a TV and some banging tunes, when the connection wasn’t cutting out that is!

So, the brief was… lets see what these guys can do. Half of us never having used the libraries or LEDs before – lead to some interesting discoveries. We had an array of products to play with, all based around 2812 SMD LEDs. Some in strips, some loose, some on breakout boards (much easier to handle!) and some 2D arrays. By the end of the night, most were responding to something, either the library samples, some changing colour based on the values of a distance sensor, and some scrolling through a smiley face on the array.


The solder station set up – some hadn’t soldered before, so we were shorting out breakout boards left right and center! We did a good job of getting this fixed and tidied though.


Not addressable, but David’s approach worked anyway! Press the button and the blue LED turns off, and the red LEDs blink –  a couple of days in with the Arduino tutorials.


Neil came along with this setup and running – a set of 3 AdaFruit NeoPixels on PCB, looks like the way to go for these things I reckon. I believe these were scrolling through the Fast LED library.

Neil and Brian then went on to getting it to respond to sound using a sound sensor – didn’t work overly well, maybe it was damaged?

Over all it was a good session, most people got something out of it. Certainly an appreciation for the complexity that is Addressable LEDs!

Last Updated on 12 October 2015 by Mark