Any interest in an Arduino Addressable LED workshop?


Hi, I’m a moderator of the Reddit FastLED users group and former member of VHS (the commute from North Delta was a killer).

Anyways, I was asked to see if there’s any interest in an Arduino workshop with addressable LED’s using the FastLED library. I would also cover sound reactive lighting sequences and have several related Youtube videos ( and github code. So, I thought of a few options to gauge the interest:

  • Configuration 1 - ~$40 Arduino Nano with a microphone and 1M of WS2812 LED’s soldered directly to it.
  • Configuration 2 - ~$75 A PCB with a Nano, a microphone and an IR sensor as well as 1M of APA102 LED’s.
  • Interested but too expensive for me.
  • Not interested, thanks.

0 voters

Note: I have lots of experience with Nano’s, but not enough with ESP8266 to lead a workshop with.

I would be updating this content (that I did with Scouts a few years ago) with a couple of better examples as well as sound reactivity:

@majicj of VHS is willing to ‘bottom line’ this workshop if there is adequate interest.

Looking for Introduction to Programming

This is exactly one of the things I have wanted to learn. Do participants need to have any prior education or experience?


I highly recommend a bit of previous programming experience. Doesn’t need to be extensive, but in order to cover both the LED animation as well as sound reactive capability in a 4 hour time frame, I’d be hard pressed to also go over basics such as variables, arrays, loops, if statements, etc.

The above (shorter) slides ended up being a day long workshop with the Scouts as they downloaded different examples and made an animation of their own.


Ok, is there any reading material or tutorials you would recommend to get started?


Hey @LauraA adafruit has some pretty handy tutorials. Do you have any addressable RGB LEDs? If you already have an arduino I can give you some!. @Gonazar gave us a bunch a ways back so happy to pass some on to you.

I’ll be in Thursday so can bring them then. I’ll also set up an addressable strip so we can play around with it.


@Johnny5 good to see you around! I think there would be loads of interest in this at VHS. We have a lot of new folks around lately and have not done any LED workshops in quite a while.


Hi Janet,

The examples I’d be culling from include my own at:

as well as Marc Miller’s (another FastLED Reddit moderator) at:

Between those two repositories as well as the built-in examples, there’s a ton of great animations you can learn from. Here’s my basement from a while back (I attend lantern festivals, such as StillMoon):


Okay that looks amazing! Thanks for posting. Definitely will play with these.


Hey! Are you in contact with the fastLED devs?
Any news on support for RGBW or other LED strip bit-length variants?

It’s long overdue to run some LED workshops at the space. Looking forward to seeing it happen.


Hi Rob,

Like yourself, I’m dying to see full RGBW support in FastLED. Dan Garcia mentioned it a little while back, but it sounds like it’ll be a while. Aah, here it is:

There IS a functional RGBW ‘hack’ that’s floating around, but you get limited functionality out of it. Here’s that in action:

(I just munged a couple of files together. It compiles, but I haven’t re-tested it after the munge).


Played around with FastLED briefly last night. Very nice. And, I think I can almost see again this AM. (will have to turn down the brightness in my code) :smiley:


I’m also happy to drive in some day/evening and go through FastLED stuff with folks.

I could bring a few demos and go through various examples, etc.

Oh, and no rush on that either. Being semi-retired helps in that way.


I’ve ordered 10 ADMP401 microphones and 10 x 1M WS2812 LED’s from aliexpress, and already have several Nano’s kicking around.

Based on feedback, I’ll pre-wire 5 Nano’s with the microphone and WS2812’s with a cost much closer to $20. I’ll be using D12 for data, A5 for analog microphone port, and will be connect AREF on the Nano and 3.3V together along with the Vin of the microphone (which is a 3.3V microphone). All grounds tied together.

Please keep in mind that it’s meant as a programming FastLED workshop and not a soldering/hookup workshop. As a result, time spent on the latter will take away from the former.

People are also welcome to bring their own (no charge, of course to show up and have fun). I would ask that anyone bringing their own, to check to see that their platform of choice is compatible with FastLED. (

Date TBD once I receive the components.


@Johnny5 you are awesome thanks!. I’ll bottom-line the event and open the space for you. Talk to you further along when you decide on a date.

Arduino 101 Workshop - Interest Check

I’ve got 10 kits all made up and slides ready for a FastLED workshop. One is reserved for an associate, so 9 still left.

Just waiting to hear back from miststlkr regarding an Intro workshop.


Hi @Johnny5

After you hear back from @miststlkr about his intro workshop we should set a date and add this to the events calendar.

It would also be good idea for you to create Eventbrite link to handle bookings and payment as it will be a firmer commitment than just having folks say they are interested and then bailing at the last minute.