ACROBOTIC WS2812B 5×8 Matrix Shield (Arduino Uno) | NeoPixel-Compatible


Regular price $14.95

This Arduino Shield makes for an easy way to get started with the nifty WS2812/WS2812B RGB LEDs. Arranged in a 5×8 matrix, these 40 ultra-bright LEDs can be individually controlled using a single pin from your microcontroller (e.g., Arduino, ESP8266) or single-board computer (e.g., Raspberry Pi).

To set each LEDs brightness and color, you can use your preferred Arduino Library (NeoPixel, FastLED, etc.), and make beautiful 'blinky' animations with ease!

Getting Started

After soldering the breakaway male pins (headers) the shield is ready to use with minimal effort. It can be powered directly from a USB port (although the typical 500mA current limit on these ports would prevent the LEDs from achieving full brightness), so all we need is to upload the firmware to see it display any combination of colors. To get their full brightness, we can use the jumper to select the external power (VLED) option, and use the screw terminal for supplying power to the LEDs.

Features

These LEDs feature an embedded constant-current LED driver that is remarkably useful for several reasons:

  • A constant current of ~20mA will drive each LED even if the voltage varies.
  • There is no need to add current-limiting resistors (a.k.a choke resistors) between the power supply and the LEDs.
  • Low driving voltage
  • Internal signal reshaping

40 LEDs Not Enough?

The shield provides an easy way to connect multiple boards together. By routing power, ground, and the data out signal of the last LED in the array (using the conveniently broken out, through-hole pin) we can connect a second shield to the first. This process can be repeated at least 3 times using a single Arduino.

The only real limitation for the maximum number of boards that can be concatenated is the amount of RAM available on the Arduino. Each WS2812/WS2812B requires 24 bits to specify its RGB color data, which means that 160 of them will require almost 500 bytes of RAM, which is around the typical amount that is available in a sketch (the 328p chip has a maximum of 2K).

Please note that these awesome LEDs are manufactured by WorldSemi, and are known in the Maker community as NeoPixels.