Articles


Are the ‘digital LEDs’ like WS2812 a godsend or a bane of creation?

A lot of people use the ‘digital LEDs’ nowadays, considering them to be the newest and best way of building LED projects. Are they? Is it sensible to use them everywhere? Are the ‘old-fashioned’ LED drivers dead already? This started as a blog post, but grew into a full-fledged article, in which I’m explaining why these guys are really great, but most definitely not the solution for all your LED needs. Not even close.

Read on

Hundreds of LEDs on Arduino: a New Way From the Past

This Instructable is basically a guide on my DM63x library. Long in waiting (I actually wrote it like half a year ago, but then had to postone the publication until this site was up and running). In any case, consider it an official documentation for the library, starting with Step Four.

Read on Instructables

Using a single RGB LED to show information: clock, thermometer and a weird communicator

Once you mastered the RGB LEDs you'll be faced by the anavoidable question: now what? I can show a masterful rainbow or any other color on my LEDs, I can do beautiful transitions. Can it be put to some use – better than a Christmas tree? In this article I explain some basic principles behind showing meaningful information on RGB LEDs. Using colors and color combinations. And yes, that's why all my boards have a place for the clock chip.

Read on Instructables

Color calibrating RGB LEDs with an Arduino

RGB LEDs are not calibrated at the factory. Thus they usually are rather unpredictable: if you compare two RGB LEDs from different bunches you'll see they actually display colors differently. This difference increases when you compare different-sized LEDs. So, if you want to have the exact colors that you imagined in the first place, some calibration is due. This Instructable was written for the Arduino crowd, but same principles can be applied to the Ultiblink boards.

Read on Instructables

How to Make Proper Rainbow and Random Colors With the RGB Color Model

The rainbow effect on an RGB LED seems a trivial task. Well, if you just want to test your setup, sure. If you want to do something that will last, you'll have to experiment and code a bit further. In this article I explain why the HSV model is not exactly suitable for RGB LEDs, and what considerations must be made if you want a smooth rainbow. And other colors too.

Read on Instructables

Driving RGB LED strips off an Arduino

Want to connect an RGB LED strip to your Arduino? You can buy a UltiBlink Strip board, or read this Instructable if two strips is enough for you. In this article I explain all the easy ways to connect an RGB LED strip to Arduino PWM outputs. Spoiler: grab some Darlington transistors!

Read on Instructables

A 15-LED RGB clock with Arduino core

An Instructable describing the works of a basic RGB clock – the one I built first. While this principle is fun, I mainly use different modes on my own RGB clocks. Still, may prove to be a good starting point.

Read on Instructables

Measure SMD capacitors on Arduino

Measuring capacitance is the task every Arduino owner has to deal with sooner or later. This is especially true once you move from thru-hole components to SMD ones – smaller capacitors, unlike resistors of the same size, are not marked at all. How do you make sure they didn’t get mixed up in the package? This Instructable describes a simple yet effective Arduino-based capacitance meter able to measure even pF capacitors.

Read on Instructables