Let there be light(s)! This festive string of addressable RGB LEDs can add color to indoor or outdoor displays. Much like our addressable LED strips, this chain of lights is composed of 20 individually sealed 10mm RGB LEDs and drivers. The driver for this chain is our old friend, the WS-2801 constant current LED driver. The WS2801 is a common, well-supported driver and example code is available for various microcontrollers. The 2-wire control scheme allows you to control the entire chain over only two GPIOs and because data cascades across the drivers, you can chain as many of these together as you can power!
The chain is about 7 feet long with 3" of ribbon cable between each light. It’s terminated on either side with a locking 3-pin connector, one male and one female, for ground, data and clock connections. The ground and power are also broken out to bare wire leads on either end. The LEDs mount snugly into a 7/16" hole.
Note: There are no labels on the wires. You can look at the example code or hook it up as follows: clock - blue, data - green, red - VCC, yellow - GND. There is a black arrow on the underside of the LEDs which indicates the direction of the strand. Also, the datasheet below indicates these chains to contain 32 LEDs per meter, this is incorrect. Each chain holds about 10 LEDs per meter.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Noob - Programming will be limited to basic drag and drop interfaces like ModKit or Scratch. You won't be writing code, but you will still need to understand some basics of interfacing with hardware. If you?re just using a sensor, it's output is analog.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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I have bought a couple of these and I have used them for Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s day displays. Be sure to get some connectors if you want to use the Arduino for something else. Very easy to program and kids love to have input on changes easily made to the colors and timing
These work, and they work well. Setup is fairly easy and the strands chained together well. The code was pretty straightforward to implement and I got the lights flashing without too much trouble.