Project: Controlling LEDs with the Arduino NeoPixel Library

Every Halloween, I usually find some crazy project to work on. This year, I decided to step up my game a little and try leveraging my programming knowledge to do something cool.

So, I went to my trust workbench and started rummaging through my parts bin and found an Arduino controller that I had purchased but never messed around with. I wondered what I could do with it. Then I got a brilliant idea! I wanted to do a light project, so I started digging around and found that I could buy individually controllable LEDs which could then be controlled by the Arduino.

There are several libraries out there for controlling LEDs on Arduino, but I eventually landed on the Adafruit NeoPixel Library – it was easy to install, the functions are clear, and you can control every aspect of the LED without having to program a bunch of functions.

With this, I essentially had the foundation for building out the animations that I wanted to create. Here is a demo below of the included demo in the library:

Pretty cool, right?

So, now that I had a basic understanding of how this library worked, I could start working on a few different things. I could create my animations, I could control each LED on my string, and I could tap into the Arduino to do some amazing things.

My next question was, “How do I make this interactive?”

Easy – connect the Arduino to the Internet. Stay tuned for part 2!