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June 11, 2012 AT 9:52 am

Creating an Addressable LED Grid

Patrick Schless wrote an update to the Adafruit addressable LED strip library so you can alternate rows of LEDs to create an LED grid.

As prep for future projects, I’ve built a simple 2D array of individually addressable LEDs. This canvas will ultimately serve as the platform for some games (snake, pong, etc), but I’m hopeful that other people will find this useful and come up with some cool applications.

These LED strips are fun and glowy. There are 32 RGB LEDs per meter, and you can control each LED individually! Yes, that’s right, this is the digitally-addressable type of LED strip. You can set the color of each LED’s red, green and blue component with 7-bit PWM precision (so 21-bit color per pixel). The LEDs are controlled by shift-registers that are chained up down the strip so you can shorten or lengthen the strip. Only 2 digital output pins are required to send data down. The PWM is built into each chip so once you set the color you can stop talking to the strip and it will continue to PWM all the LEDs for you.

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1 Comment

  1. Cool — Similar to my LED t-shirt project, which is now a 10×10 array I hang inside a plain white t-shirt. I ran the power wires along one edge, instead of looping them along side the others – mostly because I had 4 wire ribbon for the top. …

    http://www.mauimakers.com/blog/2012/04/sewing-electronics-at-hawaii-stem-conference/

    Biggest downside is the connections are fragile. Shirt/grid needs fixes after every wearing.
    I’ll look into the source soon, cloned it locally already.

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