WS2812B LEDs (or NeoPixels, as they’re commonly known) are LEDs that can light up in any colour. Really, they’re three LEDs (one red, one green, and one blue) in a single package. Also in there is a tiny processor that supports a simple networking protocol that lets you control lots of NeoPixels from a single pin on your microcontroller.
CircuitPython has great support for NeoPixels using the neopixel module. Using this, you can turn individual LEDs on and off and change their colour easily, but in this article, we’re going to look at something a little more complex – LED matrices. These are rectangular grids of LEDs that can be used to display lights, shapes, text, and more. You can build your own tiny Times Square. To make it simple to draw images and text on these displays, we can use the pixel_framebuf module. In this article, we’ll be using an 8×8 matrix, but you can use larger ones.
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8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
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, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, 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.