This large 8x32 pixel WS2812B (or “NeoPixel”) flexible LED matrix is a great way to add an impressive amount of color while still being able to individually control each LED. We aren’t kidding around, that’s 256 individually addressable LEDs on a 320mm x 90mm flexible panel. You can create animations, games, or even incorporate them into a fun e-textiles project. On top of all that, thanks to its flexible backing, this LED Matrix can be bent and bowed to fit onto almost any curvy surface.
These panels require a 5V low voltage input for power which needs to be able to source a good amount of current – up to 5A in most uses (15A if all LEDs are set to bright white, which is NOT recommended). Attached to each flexible LED matrix are two 3-pin JST SM connectors and two sets of bare power cables (input / output), which provide you connections for DC5V+, COM-, DAT, and GND. Needless to say, if you are looking for a large panel of addressable LEDs to fit the contours of almost any surface you’ve come to the right place.
Note: Repeated / Over bending may significantly reduce the structural integrity of the flexible panel. It is advisable when bending it over curved surfaces to not be too rough with this product as you may damage LED traces or the panel itself. Needless to say, do NOT fold this matrix in half!
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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Based on 6 ratings:
4 of 4 found this helpful:
I’m a HS computer science teacher with some background in electronics (I built synthesizers when I was in HS 30 years ago) and microcontrollers (2.5 yrs playing with Arduino), and I was able to get this hooked up fairly easily. There are some things I’ll pass on to other people that might be new to all this that would have made it even easier.
I hooked it up using F-M jumper wires on the 3 pins of the male JST connector. 5V and GND went to VCC and GND on a PRT-13032 breadboard power supply stick. I powered the stick with an AC Wall Adapter and with a 9V battery. Did a lot of display testing during a 3-hr period on the 9V battery and didn’t notice any loss of brightness (more below). From the Arduino, I jumpered GND to the same GND bus the power supply and display were connected to (without this, the display sort of worked, but gots lots of random pixels lighting up), and connected Pin 6 to DIN on the display (the Matrix Library says you can use any pin).
I also hooked up 2 displays by connecting the female JST on one display to the male JST on the 2nd display. Worked fine.
To drive the display, the product page says you need the Matrix Library https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_NeoMatrix but for the Matrix Library to work, you also need the NeoPixel library https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_NeoPixel and the GFX Library https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit-GFX-Library
The Matrix Library comes with a “matrixtest” sketch. Setting up this panel required the following code:
// for SparkFun Flexible LED Matrix - WS2812B (8 tall x 32 wide Pixel) - SF P# COM-13304 // using only 1 panel //Adafruit_NeoMatrix matrix = Adafruit_NeoMatrix(32, 8, PIN, // NEO_MATRIX_BOTTOM + NEO_MATRIX_RIGHT + // NEO_MATRIX_COLUMNS + NEO_MATRIX_ZIGZAG, // NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800); // using 2 panels in sequence, using tiled matrix constructor specifying side by side tiles (64 wide x 8 tall) //Adafruit_NeoMatrix matrix = Adafruit_NeoMatrix( // 32, 8, // matrix width, matrix height // 2, 1, // number of tiles wide, number of tiles high // PIN, // data pin // NEO_MATRIX_BOTTOM + NEO_MATRIX_RIGHT + // matrix layout // NEO_MATRIX_COLUMNS + NEO_MATRIX_ZIGZAG + // NEO_TILE_BOTTOM + NEO_TILE_RIGHT + // NEO_TILE_COLUMNS + NEO_TILE_PROGRESSIVE, // NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800); // LED type from Neo_Pixel // using 2 panels in sequence, using tiled matrix constructor specifying over/under tiles (32 wide x 16 tall) Adafruit_NeoMatrix matrix = Adafruit_NeoMatrix( 32, 8, // matrix width, matrix height 1, 2, // number of tiles wide, number of tiles high PIN, // data pin NEO_MATRIX_BOTTOM + NEO_MATRIX_RIGHT + // matrix layout NEO_MATRIX_COLUMNS + NEO_MATRIX_ZIGZAG + NEO_TILE_BOTTOM + NEO_TILE_RIGHT + NEO_TILE_COLUMNS + NEO_TILE_PROGRESSIVE, NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800); // LED type from Neo_Pixel
The Matrix Library has a brightness function. Set at 10, the display was readable in average indoor light. Set at 100, it was very bright.
2 of 2 found this helpful:
I like this panel a lot… Have not done much with it yet other than make pretty colors, but I’m looking forward to ordering a second one and making an obnoxious messenger bag.
All of the cautions about running the panel had me a bit worried about running it flat out and melting it… So I didn’t ;-) But I can tell you that it has been running FastLED (check it out!) random noise demos for close to a month now 24/7 and is barely warm, and seems solidly made.
I’ve see it go 9-13°F over ambient with heavy bright animation so very usable… Say, scrolling full height text at full brightness, or doing a Larson chaser thing at full bright white, 8 lights wide… Maybe once I get a second one I’ll feel a bit better about cranking it up and playing chicken :-)
2 of 2 found this helpful:
Solid, works well, something to note, as I don’t see it mentioned in the available documentation, and I chose not to use the provided libraries (if it is in there): The LEDs are sequential, but in a back and forth manner- for example, if the LED matrix is represented by a 8x32 matrix, with 0,0 in one corner and 7,31 in the opposite corner- the sequence goes from 0,0 to 0,7 then 1,7 to 1,0 then 2,0 to 2,7.
The flexible LED panel works great and we have been generating some very interesting effects. With a few lines of code you can generate random colours to random addresses and the effect is hypnotising. It is important to watch the power consumption though - these things draw a heap when you stoke them up. On the other hand they are very bright!
Just like hazmat said, the pattern is zigzag. The product is solid. Here is some FastLED code to help you visualize the sequence from 0 to 255.
I used the LEDText library (based on the FastLED library) and everything went well and was easy to set up. Video can be seen at www.pelowitz.com/DSCN2760.mp4