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November 8, 2016 AT 12:30 am

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2016: LEDs, LCDs, and Displays

Adafruit holiday guides 2015 blog

From Neopixels to LCDs, Adafruit has your display and LED needs covered!


LCDs and Displays

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Standard LCD 16×2 + extras – white on blue: Standard HD44780 LCDs are useful for creating standalone projects.

  • 16 characters wide, 2 rows
  • White text on blue background
  • Connection port is 0.1″ pitch, single row for easy breadboarding and wiring
  • Pins are documented on the back of the LCD to assist in wiring it up
  • Single LED backlight included can be dimmed easily with a resistor or PWM and uses much less power than LCD with
  • EL (electroluminescent) backlights
  • Can be fully controlled with only 6 digital lines! (Any analog/digital pins can be used)
  • Built in character set supports English/Japanese text, see the HD44780 datasheet for the full character set
  • Up to 8 extra characters can be created for custom glyphs or ‘foreign’ language support
  • Comes with necessary contrast potentiometer and strip of header

We have lots of other LCD options here! Read more.


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HDMI 5″ 800×480 Display Backpack – With Touchscreen: Its a mini panel-mountable HDMI monitor with a built-in touchscreen! So small and simple, you can use this display with any computer that has HDMI output, and the shape makes it easy to attach to a case or rail. This backpack features the TFP401 for decoding video, and includes the attached display so its plug-n-play. Check out our other HDMI Displays here! Read more.


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Monochrome 1.3″ 128×64 OLED graphic display: These displays are small, only about 1.3″ diagonal, but very readable due to the high contrast of an OLED display. This display is made of 128×64 individual white OLED pixels, each one is turned on or off by the controller chip. Because the display makes its own light, no backlight is required. This reduces the power required to run the OLED and is why the display has such high contrast; we really like this miniature display for its crispness! Read more. We have more OLED options to choose from here.


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Red 7-segment clock display – 0.56″ digit height: Design a clock, timer or counter into your next project using our pretty 4-digit seven-segment display. These bright crisp displays are good for adding numeric output. Besides the four 7-segments, there are decimal points on each digit and an extra wire for colon-dots in the center (good for time-based projects). Read more. Also available in many other colors and heights!


LED Matrices

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Miniature 8×8 Red LED Matrix: You will squeak with delight when you hold this adorable miniature LED matrix. 0.8″ square, its got everything a big LED matrix has, but bite sized! 64 bright red LEDs are contained inside the plastic body, in an 8×8 matrix. There are 16 pins on the side, 8 on each, with 0.1″ spacing so you can easily plug it into a breadboard with plenty of space to wire it up. Read more. More color and size options here!


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Small 1.2″ 8×8 Bi-Color (Red/Green) Square LED Matrix: Make a scrolling sign, or a small video display with this 8×8 gridded bi-color LED matrix. Only 1.2″ on a side, it is quite visible but not so large it wont plug into a breadboard! 128 LEDs are contained in the plastic body, 64 red 320mcd and 64 green, in an 8×8 matrix. Every grid has two LEDs inside so you can have it display red, green, yellow or with fast multiplexing any color in between. This display is bright, beautiful and funky with nice diffused square lenses for a striking look. There are 24 pins on the side, 12 on each, with 0.1″ spacing so you can easily plug it into a breadboard with one row on each side for wiring it up. Read more. More color and size options here!


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Medium 16×32 RGB LED matrix panel: Bring a little bit of Times Square into your home with this 16 x 32 RGB LED matrix panel. These panels are normally used to make video walls, here in New York we see them on the sides of busses and bus stops, to display animations or short video clips. We thought they looked really cool so we picked up a few boxes of them from a factory. They have 512 bright RGB LEDs arranged in a 16×32 grid on the front. On the back there is a PCB with two IDC connectors (one input, one output: in theory you can chain these together) and 12 16-bit latches that allow you to drive the display with a 1:8 scan rate. Read more. Also available in ruby red, emerald green, royal blue, and rose pink.


LEDs and LED Strips

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Adafruit LED Sequins – Warm White – Pack of 5: Sew a little sparkle into your wearable project with an Adafruit LED Sequin. These are the kid-sister to our popular Flora NeoPixel, they only show a single color and they don’t have digital control, but that makes them smaller easier to use for many projects. Read more.


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White LED Backlight Module – Small 12mm x 40mm: These pretty strips of light are plastic diffused backlights, often seen in LCD displays. Normally they’re tucked behind the LCD and shine white light from below. Here, we’ve got the LEDs available individually and they’re really cool! Each LED is encased in a 3.5mm thick strip of a acrylic. The acrylic strip is a special type that is very good at diffusing light, so even though there is only one single white LED, it provides near-uniform lighting. The other flat side of the strip has a reflector on it so you only get light from the top (otherwise the backlight would lose 1/2 the brightness unnecessarily). Read more.


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APA102 5050 RGB LED w/ Integrated Driver Chip – 10 Pack – APA102C: Make your own smart LED arrangement with the same integrated LED that is used in our new fancy DotStar strips. This tiny 5050 (5mm x 5mm) SMD LED is fairly easy to solder and is the most compact way possible to integrate multiple bright LEDs to a design. If you want to prototype with these, we recommend our 5050-size LED breakout PCBs, solder them on for a breadboard-friendly package. Read more.


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Adafruit DotStar Digital LED Strip – White 60 LED – Per Meter – WHITE: Move over NeoPixels, there’s a new LED strip in town! These fancy new DotStar LED strips are a great upgrade for people who have loved and used NeoPixel strips for a few years but want something even better. DotStar LEDs use generic 2-wire SPI, so you can push data much faster than with the NeoPixel 800 KHz protocol and there’s no specific timing required. They also have much higher PWM refresh rates, so you can do Persistence-of-Vision (POV) and have less flickering, particularly at low brightness levels. Read more. Check out our other dotstar strip options here!


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Pixie – 3W Chainable Smart LED Pixel: NeoPixels are plenty bright, suuuure. BUT ARE THEY 3 WATTS BRIGHT? No! They are not! That’s why you need a Pixie. These chainable smart LEDs are not only super-smart, they are ridonkulously bright with 3W total, compared to 0.2W of a ‘standard’ NeoPixel. Designed by Ytai Ben-Tsvi, these are the ultimate in LEDs. Read more.


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Adafruit NeoPixel Digital RGB LED Strip – Black 60 LED – BLACK: You thought it couldn’t get better than our world-famous 32-LED-per-meter Digital LED strip but we will prove you wrong! You wanted twice the LEDs? We got it (well, it’s 1.875 times as many but that’s within a margin of error). You wanted thinner strips? Now only 12.5 mm wide, 10 mm if you remove the strip from the casing. You wanted less noticeable strip color – this strip has black-colored flex PCB, which will be less visible against black-painted walls. This is the strip with black flex PCB, it’s identical to the white 60 LED/meter except it has a different color mask on the flex strip. Read more. Check out our other neopixels strips here!


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We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit, and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Stay tuned into the blog where you will find new, handpicked gift guides five days a week from November 7 through December 23rd, 2016 alongside holiday themed tutorials and builds!


Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us. As of February 23rd, 2016 3:00 PM ET we are currently offering FREE UPS ground (Continental USA) for orders $200 or more.

Some restrictions apply


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2016

Here are your 2016 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control.

Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for UPS or USPS.

Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016, Christmas, no UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, no UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, no UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Sunday, Jan. 1, 2016, New Year’s Day, no UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service

Gift Certificates are always available at any time.

When in doubt contact us!

Domestic Orders

UPS ground: Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 9, 2016 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 23.

UPS 3-day: Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 15, 2016 – Arrive by 12/23/2016.

UPS 2-day: Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 16, 2016 – Arrive by 12/23/2016.

UPS overnight: Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 19, 2016 – Arrive by 12/23/2016.

United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority: Place orders by Friday– December 9, 2016 – Arrive by 12/23/2016 or sooner.

International Orders

USPS First class mail international: Place orders by Friday – November 18, 2016. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/23/2016 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/23/2016.

USPS Express mail international: Place orders by Friday – December 2, 2016. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/23/2016 or sooner.

UPS WORLDWIDE EXPRESS, UPS WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED and UPS EXPRESS SAVER (UPS International orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 9, 2016 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 23 2016.


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1 Comment

  1. Please add a tag of Holiday Gift Guide to this article so I can find it later.

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