December 14, 2012 AT 1:00 am

RGB LED Light Strip Christmas Tree

Margery at Designing With LEDs took a cheap big box store small spiral LED Christmast tree, and added an addressable RGB LED light strip to it.

I got a 5-meter reel of individually-controllable RBG LEDs for my birthday this year. Their light is gorgeous, especially the super-saturated blues and greens. But other than stringing them up around the office I haven’t done much with them. Christmas LED project time!

These LED strips are fun and glowy. There are 32 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 color of each LED’s red, green and blue component with 7-bit PWM precision (so 21-bit color 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 2 digital output pins are required to send data down. The PWM is built into each chip so once you set the color you can stop talking to the strip and it will continue to PWM all the LEDs for you.

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