Help with controlling an RGB Led Strip WS2812

So after having some fun I decided to get this:

I also got this for the power supply:

What I would like to do is make some basic chase effects and control all the LED's at a quick pace in order to strobe and some other things to make it go with music. In order to do so I was thinking of controlling it with an arduino receiving update code from my computer via processing or serial and then in turn updating all the LED's. I know 20m is a lot considering how many LEDs there are but what all would I need to make it work? I have the power supply but how would I make that work with the arduino and the strip of LED? If I am going about this the wrong way then let me know. I do not mind going directly from the computer to controlling the LED strips.

when I got my strip, I googled and found this....

the video is cool, but looks much better in real life !

I downloaded the library and code and it worked straight away, this may be a perfect start for you


20mtrs of strip means 4 full rolls :astonished:, voltage drop is going to happen and you will have discrepancies anywhere in the 3rd rolls end or middle, make sure to have power at every 2 strips.
and with voltage drop I also mean the communication signals will drop too! that is a very damn problem I have faced , So I suggest to control at max 2 strips and the other 2 Strips from another control output(whether it TWI or ONE WIRE).
All this is surely implicable with ws2801s , ws2812s are a better breed but still all the above may help you if you encounter problems.

Alright. I figured voltage drop may be an issue but I wasn't thinking at the time and only bought that power supply thinking I could just use it for the whole thing. Any suggestions on how to use just that power supply to power two strips like in parallel or something? Ill be running them around the ceiling in one of my rooms.

Also would you suggest using the arduino with processing to control it from my computer or using the raspberry pi or what would you suggest for the fastest update times with using my computer to send commands? Hopefully that makes sense.

So I got everything in and the arduino updates extremely fast. I am very surprised. I plugged in all 4 strands and noticed the yellowish color because of the voltage drop. Even with 2 strands I started to notice it in the middle even though I connected both ends of the strands back to the power supply. I guess it is not too easy to work with 20m of LEDs like this. I have a second power supply coming in so I can hopefully just work with 2 strands at a time. Any other suggestions for helping with voltage drop or to prevent the yellowish color near the middle of the two strips?

Just for a fun project I hooked up my arduino to my raspberry pi and had it issue commands via serial, now I have my entire room lit up and voice controlled with various animations,. Granted it will look a lot better when the second PSU comes in and that will hopefully help with the voltage drop.

Also is there any easy way for direct control from the raspberry pi? I noticed it doesn't look like it can keep up with the correct speed of the chips to update the lights, but i figured it would be quicker and easier to do that then have to update code and add more serial commands which seem to slow things down? I noticed the fadecandy device which works with the raspberry pi but it seems to be geared toward multiple smaller strips. Is there a similar device that I could use directly from the raspberry pi to control the amount of leds that I will be using? (total of 600)

I managed to answer all my previous questions. Research FTW.... and trial and error....

So I managed to hang up all the LED's and figured out how to actually power them with the single 5v 60a power supply and not have any noticeable voltage drop or discoloration. I figured out that communicating with the arduino from the raspberry pi is quite simple over usb and now I have a full voice controlled 20m strip of leds. I was now looking into making my own patterns and syncing the strips to music in a variety of ways. I plan to make a couple light shows as demos to guests that sync perfectly with a couple select songs while the rest will just bounce and fade around based on the spectrum and intensity of the music. Do you guys have any suggestions of software or anything that may help speed up the process with creating animations or syncing the music to it?

what a fantastic project, is there any chance of seeing a video of this in action ?

Once I get some more animations programmed in and smooth things out with the voice control I will happily post a demo video. I personally have learned so much and had a wonderful time with this project. The end result is phenomenal.

I too an playing with WS2812 leds, I am just in the process of making up some demo boards
DMX512 to WS2812 convertor using a AtTiny13 (1k of flash, 64 bytes ram, no UARTS !)

Folks, I’m very much a beginner at this. In addition to the WS2812 based LED string, the Arduino and power supply, what else do I need to make this work? Is there a controller that sits in between the Arduino and the LED string? Please tell me what to search for - specific words to enter on eBay would really help. Thanks in advance.

I am trying to do somewhat the same, and struggle a bit with the music trig of the Arduino. Can you show how you do this easily? Maby I am going to use a special breakout board with mic-amp?

20 meters of led strip are 600 pixels. 60mA per pixels * 600 pixels = 36Amps

you need a 36Amps power supply for your 20 meters.