We have all sorts of LED strips for a wide range of needs. Chonky strips? We got those! Strips with alligator clips that are easy-peasy to MakeCode? Oh definitely. Weatherproof? We have a gamut of options.
Now we have some Honey I Shrunk the LED Strips in the store. At an astonishing 4mm width these are wee yet surprisingly flexible and can fit just about anywhere. The wires are even nicely colour-coded: black for ground, green for data signal, and red for 3-5VDC power.
Warning! These ultra skinny strips are not protected and are quite delicate. They should not be flexed repeatedly, and need to be handled with a lot of care. Not good for younger folks or beginners - check out our protected NeoPixel strips instead!
Note some batches will have all 3 line pads on the top.
There are some things to watch for:
- These LED's use up to 10 Watts max (~2 Amps @ 5V) per meter. The max rating of 4.5A is assuming all the LEDs are on full white, usually the actual current for colorful design is less than 1/3 of the max current. A good power supply such as our 5V 2A or 5V 4A supply is key!
- The strip is very thin and does not transfer a lot of heat, so don't have all the LEDs on bright white all the time or you could get thermal damage.
- Second, to get high density, the controller chip is inside the LED, which is kind of cool, but also means that the chip only uses a single pin for input and a single pin for output. The protocol used is very very timing-specific and can only be controlled by microcontrollers with highly repeatable 100nS timing precision. We have example code for using with the Arduino Uno/Mega microcontroller at 8MHz and 16MHz, and with a little effort you can use with the Raspberry Pi, or Beagle Bone Black, but it will not work with the Basic Stamp or any other interpreted/virtual machine microprocessor or any processor slower than 8 MHz. For those processors, check our DotStar digital LED strip which has SPI-like input/output and works easily with Pi and other processors.
- The way the pixels are controlled by an Arduino, the entire strip must be buffered in memory, and we've found many Arduino UNO projects only have about 1500bytes of RAM available after all the extras are included - enough for about 500 LED pixels. If you want to drive the entire strip and have some other libraries included, you may need to use a Mega.
There are 75 LEDs in this half-meter strip (so, the density is 150 RGB LEDs per meter), and you can control each LED individually! Yes, that's right, this is the digitally-addressable type of LED strip. You can set the colour of each LED's red, green and blue component with 8-bit PWM precision (so 24-bit colour per pixel). The LEDs are controlled by shift registers that are chained up down the strip so you can shorten or lengthen the strip. Only 1 digital output pin are required to send data down. The PWM is built into each LED-chip so once you set the colour you can stop talking to the strip and it will continue to PWM all the LEDs for you
The strip is made of flexible PCB material, with some tape on the back. It does not come with weatherproof sheathing. You can cut this stuff pretty easily with wire cutters, there are cut-lines every 7mm / 0.27" (1 LED each). The data/ground pads are on the top, the power pad on the bottom (some batches will have all 3 lines on the top!).
You can carefully solder to the copper pads and you're good to go. Of course, you can also connect strips together to make them longer, just watch how much current you need! We have a 5V/4A supply that should be able to drive 1 meter and a 5V/10A supply that can drive up to 10 meters (depending on use) You must use a 5V DC power supply to power these strips, do not use higher than 6V or you can destroy the entire strip
These come in half meter strips with some short wires connected to the input pins. If you buy multiples, you will get multiple half meter strips, they will not come on a continuous strip!
Our detailed NeoPixel Uberguide has everything you need to use NeoPixels in any shape and size. Including ready-to-go library & example code for the Arduino UNO/Duemilanove/Diecimila, Flora/Micro/Leonardo, Trinket/Gemma, Arduino Due & Arduino Mega/ADK (all versions)
- LED: NeoPixel with 1515 RGB LED
- Operating Voltage: 5VDC
- IP20 (not weather proof at all)
- Luminescence: R: 18lm / G: 58lm / B: 8lm
- Beam Angle: 120º