Arduino and Five 16.4ft addressable LED strips

Greetings :slight_smile:

I am currently in the middle of a project that will require 25m(82ft) of WS2812 LED strip at 60px per meter.

I am building an 8ft diameter Peace Sign lightbox. The front and rear faces are made out of white translucent acrylic, while the edge faces will be covered in thin translucent white vinyl.

My goal is to affix individually addressable led strips along the edges that will enable them to be programmed in such a way that they illuminate the peace sign in different sequences/chases/etc that will complement its shape.

I’ve never used Arduino before but have heard of its many uses pertaining to LEDs, and thought it might be applicable to this project.

I’ve attached some pictures of my inspiration for the project. Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

I like 12 Volt LEDS as the power supply requirements are more conservative. You are planning to use a LOT of LEDs, so you will likely need more than one power supply. The rule-of-thumb says that white (red+blue_green) will draw 60mA each, so you would need 60 X 25 X .06 = 90 Amps.

The Rule of Thumb is wrong. That is the worst, highest possible demand. I recommend that you buy one of the strips that you plan to use, and a power supply. Experiment with the example programs in the fastLED library. Start with firstlight.ino. Write a test sketch that turns on every LED in full white and measure the actual current draw of your strip. I would bet that your actual measurement will be less than 60mA per LED.

Once you understand the basics of RGB LEDs, then start attacking your project. Work in small chunks- don't try to do the whole project in one programming session.

You didn't want this next week, did you?

I like 12 Volt LEDS as the power supply requirements are more conservative.

Yes, but there is a catch with 12volt addressable strips.
They have one controller chip per three LEDs, so no individual LED control, only per set of three.
If that's a problem or not depends on the project.
25meter of 12volt addressable strip would require a 12volt/30Amp (minimum) supply.

For an 8-ft diameter display, it's unlikely that the viewer would see the difference from 3-LED groups to individually addressable. But there's also another upside to WS2811 strips. 1/3 of the RAM required. The OP's project is planned to have 1500 LEDs, so individually addressable LEDS would require 4.5K of RAM, plus whatever the sketch needs. Not many of the Arduino boards have that much RAM. Any of the ESP boards have the RAM you need for this project. My favorite is the Wemos D1 Mini.

There's about a dozen different addressable LED configurations available. Here is a good tutorial explaining the differences.

Again, I recommend that you buy a few parts; LED strip, power supply, processor, and learn the basics of addressable LED control. Then you will be better prepared to make the project-size decisions.