One Challenge with working with RGB LEDs is getting the right Red, Green and Blue values to match a color you are trying to display.  You can start with web colors, and then sometimes need to adjust them since the LEDs don't look quite the same as they do on monitors.

So, this is a quick project to allow you to set the RGB values with a simple hand-held gadget - maybe useful when working offline with these LEDs.

This project shows a WS2812b digitally addressable LED, but could be adapted for other LED types.

  • An Arduino - clones can be found for $10
  • An Adafruit LCD Shield - this shield has a 16x2 LED display, and 5 push buttons that we will use for changing the red, green, and blue color values.  Adafruit also has a shield where the backlight color is an RGB LED - might be worth trying!
  • An LED - this one uses a single WS2812b LED from a 30 LED/meter strip of LEDs - we had this left over from another project.  Adafruit sells them individually on carrier boards too.
  • Some solid core wire - I used some 20 gauge wire since it was rigid and held the LED nicely.

Step 1: Construction

Build the LED Shield per the instructions that come with it (online).  Test it our with your Arduino.

Now, we will solder the LED to the board.  Since the LCD Shield is intended to be on the top of the stack of shields, the pins are not brought out in header sockets.  But the pins are there to mechanically support the shield, so you can carefully solder wires to the tops of those pins.  See the pictures for details.

We will solder digital pin 6 to the data in line - that has to be connected to the input end of the arrow on the LED since they have a direction on the data line.  The other two wires are the +5v, and Gnd - those can be soldered on either end of the LED.

The LED is very bright, so one idea is to put a piece of white paper over it.  Or perhaps aim it down and run it over a white surface.

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About This Instructable


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Bio: A Maker since childhood with all the classic symptoms, a robot builder, and an Internet software CTO by day.
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