Fun with LEDs

Hi guys! I'm wanting to set up an LED strip and program it to do different effects. I'm not too savvy on LED strips or what kind I'd need, I've been looking at this guide: http://www.ladyada.net/products/rgbledstrip/#introduction I'm wondering if this is the correct strip I could use? http://www.ebay.com/itm/2x5M-10m-3528-RGB-LED-Strips-Lights-600led-NonWaterproof-60leds-m-Flexible-/321003906557?pt=US_Car_Lighting&hash=item4abd52e5fd

Also, will the arduino be able to power a 5m strip? Thank you

It looks like that strip is a succession of R, G, B leds with current limiting resistors, presumably the 4 wires are GND, R, G, B. The specs provided aren't clear, but it suggests the maximum current for all 3 colours is 2A for a 5m strip, presumably 0.7A per colour.

You'll need 12V, 2A (or more) supply and some means of switching the 3 channels. high-side switching with p-channel MOSFETs (and NPN transistors to level-shift from 5V to 12V). Look at the original post and the first reply of this thread for the circuit: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?topic=130384.0

There are other LED strips available and some can have each LED individually programmed via logic signals (so no power switching needed) like this one: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11272 - more expensive but much more controllable.

Hmm. So I won’t be able to control sections of the strip from the ebay link? I want to be able to light up different sections and not have the whole strip light up. The reason I’m looking at the ebay ones is because the strips are extremely more cost efficient.
Thank you

They are "cost efficient" because they do not have an addressable controller per RGD LED, which is what' s needed to light up the different sections. You get what you pay for, just like anything else.

http://hackaday.com/2011/09/28/making-a-simple-addressable-array-from-led-strips/ It looks like he did it without an expensive addressable strip? Basically I want to have a string of leds and be able to pulse from one end to the other. So if the number 1 was an on LED and each line is time passed it would look like 1000000 0100000 0010000. My problem is that I'm going to have a large amount of leds in the string (over 300). So I can't literally control each one individually. Sorry for my ignorance but is the only way to do this through the expensive addressable strips and not possible through the ebay ones? I have no problem doing manual labor to create this :p Thank you

http://www.plainlystated.com/2011/09/addressable-led-grid/

"I’ve introduced an additional layer of abstraction for this platform: HL1606grid (requires the external library HL1606strip). The API is (hopefully) straightforward. Once you instantiate the grid, you set a particular LED like: grid.setLEDcolor(row, col, RED);. If you’re familiar with the 1D HL1606strip library, that should look familiar."

The black rectangles between the LEDs are the HL1606 chips. You talk to that, it controls the LED. http://learn.adafruit.com/hl1606-led-strip