Introductory question about approaches and scaling up

Hello,

I'm looking to have a grasp on what is "out there" w/r/t controlling many LEDs with microcontrollers, especially when it comes to scaling up from a few things that work.

Here is what I know about as of 2018:

  1. neopixels using arduino boards, and/or using the arduino framework on non-arduino boards (e.g., teensy etc)
  2. dmx controller w/ usb to LED strips
  3. neopixels using other microcontrollers
  4. more generic LED strip options
  5. LED screens?
  6. ?

Basically I'm trying to understand where I should be researching to get this information.
I also don't have a thorough background in electronics, but would like to understand more. I've read some posts on this forum which have been helpful, but looking for a couple of points at which to get my feet wet.

My understanding is that as you chain more and more strips together, the power requirements increase, so you need to have something in place to provide enough power at each chain point so that the LEDs operate at a nominal brightness. I also realize that there are certain libraries that excel at addressing many things at once, so any suggestions there are also welcome. What I have looked at so far is mainly introductory LED tutorials with arduino, and a couple of neopixel library tutorials.

Thank you!
I know that this is a rather encompassing series of topics, so if anyone needs to simply refer me to some external literature that would be welcome too!

Best,
e

I also realize that there are certain libraries that excel at addressing many things at once

Please realise that only one thing happens at once. You can’t get round that with a library. I think you might be using the wrong words here.

you need to have something in place to provide enough power at each chain point so that the LEDs operate at a nominal brightness.

That “thing”is not necessary a power supply, it is normal to use thick wire to connect both ends of the strip for both 5V and ground. If you do use more than one power supply always connect the grounds together and never connect the +5V together.

  1. LED screens?

Are normally called OLED screens and have very good contrast but require a lot of memory to use them, only the smaller ones can be used with a Uno.

Please realise that only one thing happens at once. You can't get round that with a library. I think you might be using the wrong words here.

Yes, thanks. I (think I) meant to say that many LEDs are addressable at once through some LED-based libraries in ways that are convenient for the programmer, rather than writing everything oneself.

That "thing"is not necessary a power supply, it is normal to use thick wire to connect both ends of the strip for both 5V and ground. If you do use more than one power supply always connect the grounds together and never connect the +5V together.

Gotcha. Thank you!

Are normally called OLED screens and have very good contrast but require a lot of memory to use them, only the smaller ones can be used with a Uno.

How small? Does something like this qualify?
EDIT: Just found this. Awesome!

You can also get them in colour