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Connect 250 RGB leds

Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 1:41 pm
by Philp711
I’ve started a new project where I need to be able to control around 30 RGB leds independently and then each led will consist of a few to light certain sections so basically let’s just say groups of 5-10 leds and 30 groups individually controlled, I’d like to be able to get some detailed colour if possible

And I’m stumped, I’ve seen servo pi pmw zero which gives me 16 extra gpio pins and I’ve seen the IO pi plus which gives me 30 extra, because I think I need a gpio per pin of the led and they have 4 pins

But then I’ve also heard that I can just use one pin per led and still be able to change the colour how I want

I’ve searched as much as I can for python code for it, ways of attaching leds and then code of how to do that, I’m a beginner and the more I search for answers the more confusing it gets, any help?

I do apologise if I’m on the wrong thread if so just point me to the right one please

Re: Connect 250 RGB leds

Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 5:11 pm
by drgeoff
An RGB LED is merely a single package containing 3 LEDs of different colours. Any LED has two connections, just like a light bulb. Inside the package, one connection of each LED is joined with the corresponding connection of the other two. The other connection of each LED is kept separate. So the package has only 4 external connections but each LED is individually controllable.

Re: Connect 250 RGB leds

Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 5:24 pm
by Z80 Refugee
Philp711 wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 1:41 pm
But then I’ve also heard that I can just use one pin per led and still be able to change the colour how I want
If this is possible I don't know about it. To have complete control over colour you need to control the intensity of red, green, and blue separately.

Look up "RGB LED Cube Project" to get ideas about how to control many LEDs - from the point of view of the software, but also the necessary hardware. Instructables is a good source. Bear in mind that the LEDs don't have to be arranged as a cube.

Re: Connect 250 RGB leds

Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 5:29 pm
by PeterO
Philp711 wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 1:41 pm
But then I’ve also heard that I can just use one pin per led and still be able to change the colour how I want
These are devices like the WS2812

PeterO

Re: Connect 250 RGB leds

Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 6:46 pm
by Z80 Refugee
PeterO wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 5:29 pm
These are devices like the WS2812
That's the equivalent of building an RGB LED controller into the LED itself.

Re: Connect 250 RGB leds

Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 7:27 pm
by joan
Can you use LED strips? That is likely to be the only practical solution unless you want to spend an awful lot of time designing and building bespoke hardware and software.