I'm looking for a bright RGB LED strip which can be easily attached and programmed from Raspberry Pi. I want to control color and brightness of each LED light separately.
I have done some investigation of available options but I haven't yet found the one I'm sure about.
As I understand, I would need addressable (also called digital) strips. Many tutorials online do not mention what kind of strip they are using and sometimes it takes reading half the article to understand that they are talking about non-addressable strip.
I have looked at Adafruit options and it seems they have two options - older NeoPixels and newer DotStars. Here is the article about their differences:
As I understand, DotStars should be more universal, hassle-free and beginner-friendly, right?
The only complicated thing is this one:
As I'm not good with soldering (wires - no problems, chips - better not), I'd like to have some ready level-shifting solution which can be just attached to RPi and the LED strip. Could you please recommend something?For low-voltage microcontrollers and systems such as Raspberry Pi, a logic level shifter (e.g. 74AHCT125) is recommended for both the data and clock pins.
So, I'm looking at these options:
but I'm in doubt that LED strips which are using 5V power might be not enough bright. I have not seen them in real life, so I'm not sure how bright they are. Is there any brighter RGB addressable LED RPi friendly solution? Maybe something 12V would work better, but then how do I attach it to RPi? I intend to use a computer PSU for a prototype, so I'd have good 12V for LED, but I'm not sure how to make the signal levels match the ones of RPi then.
Also, I'd like to have some light spreading screen which can be used with the strip because I want the light to look like wide belt with blurry vertical bands of light. Is there any simple plastic screens which can be used as light spreaders? Is there any tutorial to make such screen myself? I could not find any, maybe I don't know the right keywords (English is not my native language).
BTW, I'm from Europe, so I guess I'll have to look for the closest Adafruit distributor to minimize shipping cost. Or I could use some cheap chinese solution from DX.com, if there is anything worth looking at.
Thanks for any ideas.