While this would work, it’s not very durable. I need something that lots of people can tinker and play with all weekend, without worrying about replacing disconnected wires.
So, I set out to design a PCB that I can assemble ahead of time, and will hopefully be durable enough to last all weekend. It will also have the bonus of being a tutorial project I can use in classes, workshops, and share online.
NeoPixel Stick – 8 x 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers: Make your own little LED strip arrangement with this stick of NeoPixel LEDs. We crammed 8 of the tiny 5050 (5mm x 5mm) smart RGB LEDs onto a PCB with mounting holes and a chainable design. Use only one microcontroller pin to control as many as you can chain together! Each LED is addressable as the driver chip is inside the LED. Each one has ~18mA constant current drive so the color will be very consistent even if the voltage varies, and no external choke resistors are required making the design slim. Power the whole thing with 5VDC (4-7V works) and you’re ready to rock. Read more.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.