Baby steps with addressable LED strips

Hi everyone. I am very much just getting started, so I appreciate your patience. Having worked through Getting Started with Arduino, I've set my sights on a first project - controlling an addressable LED strip (this one from Adafruit 12mm Diffused Flat Digital RGB LED Pixels (Strand of 25) [WS2801] : ID 738 : $39.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits of course) with my arduino uno. Not surprisingly, I've found myself way out of my depth.

Ultimately I would like to be able to have a number of the LEDs turn on and stay a constant color while others slowly glow and pulse and change colors. But that is a long, long way off.

For now, all I really want to be able to do is to instruct a single LED on the strip. Essentially, I want to be able to do the simple things I learned to do to an LED connected directly to the board in Massimo's book, only to an LED of my choice on my strip. I am assuming that once I can do that, I will be able to build off of that and control a second, and a third, and then, well, you get the idea.

Unfortunately, the adafruit tutorial and example code seem to blow past that stage and move into fancy multi-bulb flashing. This is great, but I'm trying to find something that will ease me into this even slower. Does anyone have any tips for finding something even simpler?


The amazing thing about OS is that you can find anything, anywhere.

The easiest thing to do is search "WS2801 Example Code"....and there are lots of examples.

I found this one, this may be able to help you

Thanks cub526! I've been searching all afternoon but hadn't hit on a string that was kicking up anything helpful. This looks like a fantastic path forward.

Check out this thread I started a few weeks ago

I went from hooking it up to being able to address each one restfully over ethernet.

Thank you AceoStar. This looks like a much more ambitious project, but I'd love to get to an ethernet controlling place. I'll take a look at your sketch and see what I can figure out.