10x5 RGB LED Matrix With Only 5 IO Pins




About: Hello, it's me, Ole! I'm from Germany and my interests are Hardware Hacking, LEDs and many more! I will show you instructions of my projects and of other things, if you like them then just follow me!

If you wanna build a fancy led matrix display with only a few pixels, this is exactly what YOU need!

Step 1: Get All What You Need!

You need:

-An Arduino

-WS2812(B) LED strip

-A piece wood

-7 jumper wires

-7 female pin headers

-some capacitors

-some wires

Step 2: Craft It to One Part

Use your crafting tools to bind the led's onto a base (something like a piece of wood or something else of your favor). Arrange them in a matrix of a size like 5 by 10 Led's.

I added on every second line an capacitor, because the LED's need much power. And I don't put the data out to the data in of an other line, because I wanna drive them parallel on 5 IO pins.

Put the first line's data IN to D10 of the Arduino, put the second to D9, the third to D8, the fourth to D7 and the fifth to D6!

Step 3: Flash the Software to Your Arduino

This is the software which you need:



Flash the software to your Arduino and open the processing project with... Processing! Now you should change the line "String portName = "/dev/ttyACM~";" to your Serial port, on WINDOWS "String portName = "COM~";"

Step 4: LOOK to This Stuff

Thank you for reading :)



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    7 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    its been some years since i fired up my arduino uno - and this is the project that will get me to do it - i know the inputs are simple for leds -but can you supply a wiring diagram (common cathode/anode, capacitor type and polarity etc)


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Nice project !!!! (y)

    can you upload more clear picture of how to make the connection?

    its my 1st project... so please can you?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    WS2812's are addressable and this could have been done with one pin running the data for the whole thing. Was there a reason you split it up into 5 data pins?

    2 replies

    What about latency? Driving 50 leds serially would certainly add some latency, which could be an issue. Would it even be noticeable? I have no idea about the delay of those things

    That's true, it would be noticeable in a Persistence of Vision type project but probably not here. Secondly I believe no one has figured out driving 5 LED strips simultaneously using an Atmega328 yet, but there's a library that can drive 4 of them at https://github.com/balrog-kun/ws2811-multi, which I use for a POV display.