There may be a lot of RGB LED Drivers out there, but this one is a bit different, its versatile, small, cheap, and is simple to control.

A potentiometer with built in switch is used for the controls. A quick press, switches between color cycling and solid color select modes. Pressing in on the dial and holding, toggles an Intensity control, to brighten or dim the LED. Pressing in and holding again, exits Intensity control. Settings are saved when turned on/off.

It supports common anode, common cathode, or single color LEDs. Selectable via jumper wires.

The PCB is  set-up for a single 3 watt RGB LED but, it can be easily made to power a 12 volt string of LEDs in series as long as each color channel isn't more than the recommended 2 watts ( though the transistors are rated for 2.5w ) or 500 miliamp per color channel. Correct resistor for R1, R2, R3 would have to be calculated and changed. Goto Step 7 to View.

This driver is great for ambient lights, mood lamps, display lights, case light for a PC, I have even made a lantern version that ran off 4 D batteries

And of course best of all its free, with PCB layout, HEX file, schematics are available.

Measures 1.5" x 1.5" x 1" finished.

Full Kits including 3 Watt RGB LED,  PCB, all the parts, interconnects, wire, heat sink and thermal grease. Can Be Found Here
All the parts you need. Just need a 5 volt @ 700ma+ Power Supply.

Or get a Full Kit with 0.5 Meters or 12v RGB LED strip with adhesive backing. Dial RGB LED Driver Kit, Full, RGB Light Strip

There is an Economy Kit and Basic Kit available for this project as well. For a Cheaper Project. No Headers, potentiometer or LED, see descriptions.

Get a Programmed PIC and PCB in a Combo Pack

ZIP containing HEX, PCB layout, Schematics, & datasheet is below

Download the Dial RGB LED Driver  v.1 Datasheet

UPDATE 2/15/12: A new refined version has been released.  It is recommended that devices are upgraded to this new firmware. Anyone who has purchased a kit, or programmed PIC can contact me for special price on a new version, or download the HEX from the ZIP file and re-program.

Changes v.1 to v.2:
- Faster PWM Rate
- Better Dimming down to 50%
- Color Select now goes Red -> Green -> Blue -> White (added white)
- Refined user controls
- Fixed misc bugs

I have included 2 modified versions of the firmware both use GP5 as a second button, one toggles the light on/off when the button is pressed, the other version holds the light on/off depending on the state of GP5, designed to work with a QT113 touch sensor. See readme for details.

This Instructable will assume that the kit with a 3 watt RGB LED is being assembled.

If you are not using a 3 watt RGB LED, R1, R2, R3 will be different values try
led.linear1.org/1led.wiz to find the correct resistor values you should use, or send me a PM, I will help you out. Choosing incorrect resistor values can cause damage.

The author of this Instructable can not be held liable for any damage or personal loss in anyway resulting from the information in this Instructable. use at your own risk.

Common Anode - Common lead goes to V+
Common Cathode - Common lead goes to V- ( gnd )

daffeduff3 years ago
hi, i've got a challenge i need help with, i will be making a star sky in the roof of a buddys car and i was wondering what i need to do to get the effects from this dial controlled rgb driver to work with estimated about 200 pcs of rgb leds, how would i go about getting this done?
El_AMPo4 years ago
What type of color sweep (palette )you used? it's kinda strange
DOT.4 years ago
Hey again :) so after some time I have found the problem on my programmer and fixed it. And guess what? Everything is working properly. Now I just need to buy new RGB lamp because I have inadvertently burned up a red color :D
DOT.4 years ago
Hello.I just wated to ask if the code that you have added to .zip file is completely done because when I try to program chip programm shows me error message?:)
ChromationSystems (author)  DOT.4 years ago
Yes, the HEX File included in the ZIP is correct and working. Check that your program software is loading in the correct CONFIG, 0x1F84. And check all your other connections.
Maybe you could tell me which programmer you are using and what programme?Because I have RCD programmer and I have tried to program my chip with PICprog4U and WinPIC800 but they do not have that config setting and WinPIC800 do ot recognise my programmer and I do not know what to do.. :( Maybe somebody can help me?
ChromationSystems (author)  DOT.4 years ago
I use a PICKit2, which comes with its own software. But I have used ICProg in the past with a modified JDM with no problems. I checked the RCD Website and without knowing how the RCD works, it notes some computers with poor surge protection might not work with the RCD Design. Also below the chart it mentions that WinPIC may  not be able to verify after programming, when INTOSC & MCLR OFF/Internal is set, which they are in the firmware.
It says that ICProg should work if you set the programmer device to a JDM programmer.
Maybe you have PCB layout of this JDM programmer? :)
Polyhistor5 years ago
Nice! But just a comment or two: on your schematics, your power capacitor on each schematic is shown shorted out.
ChromationSystems (author)  Polyhistor5 years ago
Good Eye, the Negative side of the capacitor should go to ground. I had made different schematics than I used to make the PCB and missed that.
elarkangel5 years ago
this is a VERY cool instructable, im going to buy the stuff to build it, i just dont understand how do i do to connect common rgb led, i cant find that kind of led here in my city! :( please can u tell me? mi child will be gratefull :P B.r.
ChromationSystems (author)  elarkangel5 years ago
Buy a kit it has everything you need, even the 3 watt RGB LED. Those LEDs are usually sold for $10. The full kit is $25 with free shipping.
okey, but if u can tell me how to conect common rgb leds to this ill be gratefull cause i can make more to use them in my house :D thanks a lot, great instructable! :D
ChromationSystems (author)  elarkangel5 years ago
Jumpers and the transistors are positioned differently. Depending on if the driver is powering a Common Anode or Common Cathode LED(s). Step 2 describes placement of the jumpers for both Com Anode and Com Cathode. Also there is a bit more information in the datasheet at http://www.chromationsystems.com/files/ChromationSystems_Dial_RGB_Driver_datasheet_v1.pdf
 Very Cool! Great instructable!