diy electronic techno blinky flashy electromechanicalish sometimes artsy projects from my workbench…

Category: Pixels


Christmas Pixel Lighting Information

A huge driver in the development of DIY led pixel systems has been the Christmas Lighting community.  Here is a huge  list (from the maker of the Canispater Christmas Videos) of some related sites.  

I also have a page with information on the ESPixelsPOP controller (which can run the ESPixelStick or WLED firmware) which you can find here: ESPixelPOPs


PLEASE read/watch these links, as it will likely answer most questions people have!


Addressable LED Information

If you are playing with addressable RGB LEDs then you know there is a daunting array of pixel types, controller types, protocols, etc. that can get very confusing. Someone (and I can`t seem to confirm who) maintains a Google Sheet that is a wealth of such information. Called the Awesome LED List you can find it here:

If the link above doesn’t work (it seems to be down right now 10/26/2022) you can also find it here:

And in the event it disappears (right now 2 of the 3 links listed in the document no longer work) I have a local version (dated Oct 26, 2022) that you can download:

Addressable LED Controllers, Drivers, and Related Products & Projects_10_26_2022


I don’t think there is a better resource of addressable pixel type LED information anywhere…

On a much smaller scale I do have a small presentation on using addressable LEDs that you can find here:


You might find it helpful also..

Need to control more than a servo?

A typical hobby animatronic uses servos. So naturally your control system may only have the ability to control the typical RC servo PWM signal. But what if you have other things like LEDs or motors or…. Or perhaps some pixels. I needed to control some relays from a servo signal and while I know you can purchase such things, I rolled my own with parts that I had on hand. I used a Arduino NANO clone and a 2 relay module. This lets me control each relay separately using two of the servo control channels. I used a carrier board for my build but you could make yours a lot smaller if you just solder the wires directly to the NANO and cover it with heat shrink. The circuit is power from the +5V servo power.

While I was working on this I also had the need for controlling some eye LEDs. I wanted to have adjustable colors for these LEDs so I could have used some RGB LEDs but this would have taken 3 control channels (one for each of the 3 colors) and would require some sort of driver for multiple LEDs. Then I thought about using addressable LEDs, a NeoPixel ring was ideal for lighting up the project  that I was dealing with. And it would only need  2 control channels. I again used a NANO and cobbled some code together that lets one servo channel control the brightness and another channel to control the LED color color (all LEDs show the same color).  Again I didn`t need to worry about size and it is powered from the +5V servo power. 


For more information including wiring diagrams and the Arduino code go to my Servo Project page.

Time for an update…

Things have been quiet lately but I did start a page for various pixel based LED art (well, artistic to me anyways) projects I have done lately. Because you can never have enough LEDs…

Check it out here..

DIY Ethernet E1.31 Controllers?

While the ESPixelStick based controllers are great sometimes you want (or need) a wired Ethernet connection. One of the Xmas lighting site members (Barnabybear) has written code for a great range of controllers using an Arduino Nano, ENC28J60 Ethernet shield and a RS485 module. You will not find a cheaper wired solution that these. You can find more information on various postings on the DIYCHRISTMAS.ORG site. Here is a summary of his projects:

Cabled E1.31 to 16 on/off outputs, test firmware and parts:…ll=1#post91147

Cabled E1.31 to WS2811 pixel:…ll=1#post91536

Cabled E1.31 to 4 outputs WS2811 pixel hardware:…ll=1#post95062

Cabled E1.31 to DMX:…ll=1#post91537

Cabled E1.31 to TLS3001:…l=1#post100881

All firmware variants and set up code as .HEX files.…ll=1#post97088

The above board is a the single output WS2811 pixel controller. As you can see there are not many parts required. It uses a inexpensive RS-485 module as a invertor driver for the pixel data line as the NANO outputs negative logic (so it needs to be inverted). 

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