addressable LED strips - UK

I just finished doing a project that used an arduino to control 12 separate strips of LEDs with all sorts of different animation patterns to indicate the flow of water and gas on an exhibition model.

To save hours of wiring up LEDs to shift registers I searched for pre-built strips that are individually addressable and was surprised how hard it was to find them in the UK.

Eventually, I found a company called Logic Magic ( who have designed a board that is just 8mm wide and has as standard 3 banks of 8 LEDs. The boards can be cut into individual banks if required.

The boards can be populated with different coloured LEDs as required but need to be a single colour per board.

Each board only needs 4 arduino outputs to control all the LEDS and they can be daisychained so you could control a pattern across many LEDs from just 4 outputs.

The brightness can be set by PWM on one of the 4 connections.

I also understand that they are designing a board with RGB LEDs so that much more sophisticated animation would be possible. I know it sounds like a shameless plug but I was so surprised how hard it was to find these things I thought other arduino users might appreciate the tip.

Let me know if you have found any other alternatives.

Our LumiNet project can be used for your animation pattern. You can address the nodes individually if you want to. Every node has an ultra-bright rgb-led.

But as each node has its own microcontroller (attiny84) onboard and you can program the device just like an Arduino, you could try another approach: don't use a central controller but divide the task and run a portion of it on every single node. So every single node must decide which color it has to show and this decision must be made based on the incoming data of the four neighbors.

If you want to run another animation, you simply attach a so called vector node to the network and then the nodes get reprogrammed and you don't have to disassemble the network.

You can of course use Arduino boards or Lilypad Arduino boards and attach an rgb-LED to it, but then the network communication must be implemented by you as well.

btw: LumiNet is a research project and not a commercial project.