SparkFun RGB LED Breakout - WS2812B

This is a breakout board for the WS2812B RGB LED. The WS2812B (or “NeoPixel”) is actually an RGB LED with a WS2811 built right into the LED! All the necessary pins are broken out to 0.1" spaced headers for easy bread-boarding. Several of these breakouts can even be chained together to form a display or an addressable string.

SparkFun RGB LED Breakout - WS2812B Product Help and Resources

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Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

1 Soldering

Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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Core Skill: Programming

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.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

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.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Customer Comments

  • Has anyone made a Fritzing part for this module?

  • Two questions:

    1. Does this include the WS2812B or do you have to purchase those separately?
    2. What if I don’t want to use the NeoPixel library to control these? How would I control them without using a library?
    • It does include the WS2812B soldered to the board (it does not include headers though). As for not using the Neopixel library I can think of 2 options but it really depends on why you don’t want to use the Neopixel library. The first is to look at the Neopixel library and copy (or rewrite to your liking) their code into your project. They’ve already dug through the datasheet, figured out what needs to be done and written code to use it. I recommend this option if you are trying to port code to a different microcontroller, or for some reason need to not use the library structure. The second option is to dig through the datasheet yourself and write the code that way. This will definitely work, but why not use the work someone else has already done.

      • Thank you for the info. The main reason why I don’t want to use the NeoPixel library is for my own knowledge expansion. I don’t like relying on someone else. Plus I have found that with most libraries (such as jquery for example) there is a lot of extra code to make it “easy” to use, when the one or two purposes I need can be done in much less code; why waste resources when we don’t need to?

  • The data sheet for this product specifies high/low data transfer timings 10x faster than the provided example.

  • where can i a purchase an led compatible with this breakout board?. The LED - SMD RGB (WS2812) https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11821 is the closest led i can find for this board but it is a 6 pin led while the ws2812b is 4 pin and i cant find ws2812b on sparkfun.

Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

Based on 2 ratings:

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Really really easy to use.

Incredibly quick to get up and running. Easy to use multiples, and the NeoPixel library does most of the hard work for you.

If you’re going to put an RGB LED in something, just use this. Don’t mess around with through hole components, just buy as many of these as you need and use them.

works like a champ

…colors are deep and bright. The white is nice and clear. The LEDs inside are rather small point sources. A nice and simple evaluation board, Note that the 8mm addressable RGB (COM-12877) have diffused package so are easier on the eyes and appear much bigger; maybe a better choice for signage.