I updated to the WS2812, got our own PCB’s printed up, and made this. There is the same amount of negative space as there is PCB, and the light only throws forwards, so you can see through it perfectly well. Also, because they PCB is mostly fibreglass, it bent into the half cylinder really easily. This thing is insanely bright. We modified the Pixel Invaders software to be able to send to the 2812 (as it has no clock pin) using a teensey using the adafruit library.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.