Back in Christmas 2019 I put some individually addressable LEDs around our fireplace to make it look festive. I claimed back then that it was a temporary installation, but 18 months later it’s still there.
When I first installed these LEDs, I was controlling them with an Espruino microcontroller. It was by far the easiest device to program, but some poor decisions meant after a couple of days I’d fried it. If only I’d worked out how to power the LEDs independently…
After the Espruino came the Raspberry Pi. It worked fine, but it took a good minute-and-a-bit to boot up. I wanted something that sprang to life instantly.
During a remote hack day, I got talking to Max about microcontrollers and the Internet of Things, and he managed to talk me into buying a NodeMCU board. He used one of these boards to connect a light switch to the Internet, and I thought I could do with one of those to control my LEDs instead of the Pi.
- NodeMCU board. I bought this one, but there are lots of different types out there.
- WS2812B LED strip. This one has 30 LEDs per metre, which makes it good value for money, and it looks good around a fireplace!
- Some Lego to make a nice box for the controller