Here’s the basics for getting started using RGB Pixels for your light display.
RGB Pixels are LED lights that can change color and intensity, 20 times per second. With smart RGB Pixels, you control each individual bulb or node. Dumb RGB pixels are controlled per string. This allows for animation of patterns in your display.
What you may need to get started
First, you’ll need some pixels. Pixels come in different shapes sizes and voltages, but they all behave similarly. Each node is made up of one red, one blue and one green LED in a single package. Some nodes are made up of only one chip. Others have three of those chips.
A pixel controller is a specialized circuit board that converts pixel data from the computer to serial data the lights need to work. I use and recommend Falcon Controllers from PixelController, LLC.
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While you can run a show from your laptop or desktop computer, many people use a Raspberry Pi as the “show” computer to keep from tying up their main machine during the holidays.
I use an open source program called xLights to create sequences.
Those are the basic components of an RGB pixel light setup.