Let's take a look at our Lumenati and LuMini addressable LED boards and what you can make with them!
Individually addressable LEDs quickly became all the rage in the mid-2010s and in 2017, SparkFun released a customizable 5050-sized APA102C board ecosystem called Lumenati. The Lumenati line of LED boards employ a 2-wire communication protocol consisting of a clock line and a data line. While this requires one more wire than standard WS2812B addressable LEDs, the advantage is that the communication with the LEDs becomes somewhat timing independent, allowing users to run these directly off of a Raspberry Pi or other single-board computer that doesn't normally allow for a long, precisely-timed data stream without the use of additional hardware.
The Lumenati line is composed of six unique boards, the 4-Pack (a four LED disc), the 8-Pack (an eight LED disc), the 3x3 (a nine LED matrix), the 8-Stick (a narrow eight LED board), the 90L (a quarter-circle board with three LEDs where the signal and power moves left), and the 90R (another quarter-circle board with three LEDs where the signal and power moves right). Any of the boards can be used stand-alone or daisy-chained. However, the 8-stick, 90L and 90R were designed with easy daisy-chaining specifically in mind!
About a year and a half later, the LuMini line was released! The LuMini line uses the same LED used on the Lumenati boards, the APA102, just in a smaller, 2.0x2.0 mm package. This allows for incredibly tight pixel densities, and thus, a more continuous ring or matrix of color. While the LuMini boards come in different shapes and sizes, they all operate in a similar fashion.
Unlike the Lumenati boards, each LuMini comes in a non-customizable package, so you won't be able to crate unique shapes with the boards, only unique color patterns. There are four different LuMini boards, the 1in Ring with 20 LEDs, the 2in Ring with 40 LEDs, the 3in Ring with 60 LEDs, and the LuMini Martix with 64 LEDs.
On top of the boards and basic guides on how to just get you started, we have also written several blogs, made multiple projects, and published several next-step tutorials to hopefully get you started on your next lighting project for drones, installations, and more.
So that's Lumenati and LuMini! What have you made with these boards? Is there something that you'd like us to make with them? Did you get any ideas for your next project by reading this post? Let us know in the comments below and we'll talk with you next time!
See our LED page for everything you need to know to start using these components in your project.