Controlling many LED strips in sync

A friend is working on a project and is trying to have (16? 18? I forget) many led strips animated and synced. He wants to be able to change the colors and animations and have all strips run the same animation at the same time. For one example: he has them all blue and a single white pixel runs from one end to the other. He wants them all to show that same pixel in the same place.

I tried programming an Arduino Uno with the color patterns and soldered up a 20-to-1 connector squid to connect them all to the same out pins, but that only worked up to a certain number of strips. I assumed it was a matter of the Uno only being able to supply so much power, so then tried the same but with power being provided from a wall wart and only the color signal provided by the Arduino, but ran into the same issue.


20 to 1 is probably pushing the drive ability of a single pin
I have done 5 with no issues
You may want to split the drive pin into 5 (perhaps using a buffer rather than just the UNO pin) and then split each of those to 4 strips

You can also use something like WLED that lets you segment a single long strip into separate smaller virtual strings and then group them all together to act as a single string

Or run WLED on an ESP32 that gives you up to 8 separate outputs on a single controller

You could just add a 74AHCT125 to the UNO output (connect all 4 driver inputs to the UNO output) and then drive 4 seperate groups of 5 strings with the 4 seperate 74AHCT125 outputs…

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I agree with Bob. WLED on an ESP32 is super easy, and the new version is awesome, but you’ll definitely need power taps along the way for that many strips. It’s super easy to install. Just go to

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