Do I need multiplexers or shift registers or something else?

Hi. I'm pretty new to Arduino and have a basic question.

I am hoping to send completely independent PWM signals to an array of 32 LEDs from an Arduino.

I don't want to use up all the pins on the Arduino, so I am wondering what direction I need to start researching. Would a shift register accomplish this or do I need an analog multiplexer? Or neither?

Thanks so much for any advice.

Look at a part like SX1509, and use two of them.

Yes, either shift registers or analog multiplexers could be used, but it would be complex and the results would be inferior, especially with analog multiplexers. The chip suggested by Crossroads would be a much better option, but the simplest, cheapest and best way is probably to use ws2812, apa103 apa106 or similar LEDs. These have PWM driver chips built into each led, making wiring simple, because the 32 LEDs can be chained together with only power, ground and data wires between them.

Or you can use a PCA9685 board for each 16 LEDs.

Awesome. These all looks like viable options. Thanks all. I'm leaning toward the WS2812s just because they looks so simple to program and to wire up. It's also good to know that there are other IO expander options.

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