Arduino IDE

Open your Arduino IDE. If you are new to Arduino, check out Tony DiCola's guide here: Adafruit Arduino IDE Setup

This sketch uses the FastLED library. You can learn more about Arduino libraries by reading this guide from Adafruit.

Download the FastLED library. See for more information, the FastLED github, or visit their community on Google+

Review the code

You will need to review and update the following before verifying and uploading your code. 

The type of LEDs: I used WS2811. You will need to update your sketch by changing this to WS2801 if you are using pixels from Adafruit. 

The pins for your LEDs: Check the pins your LEDs are connected to. If you have 4 pin LEDs, like the WS2801 pixels from Adafruit, you will need to uncomment the line defining the Clock_Pin. 

The color order of your LEDs: Is it RGB or GRB? This may be a bit of trial and error until you're sure.

The size of your matrix: My matrix is 8x6

The button pin: What pin is your pushbutton connected to?

Plug the Adafruit Feather into your computer with a USB cable, verify and upload the following code.

Once your code has been uploaded, set it aside.

/*  This is the FastLED library NoisePlusPalette example code incorporating a momentary 
    push button to cycle between modes for the Jack-o-LED-trix project. 
    You should wire a momentary push button to connect from ground to a digital IO pin. 
    In this example, wire the button to ground and pin 11.
    FastLED has a number of built in "palettes" to choose from: 
      RainbowColors_p       is all the colors of the rainbow
      PartyColors_p         is all the colors of the rainbow minus greens
      RainbowStripeColors_p is all the colors of the rainbow divided into stripes
      HeatColors_p          is reds and yellows, white, and black
      LavaColors_p          is more reds and orangey colors
      ForestColors_p        is greens and yellows
      OceanColors_p         is lots of blues and aqua colors
      CloudColors_p         is blues and white

    FastLED also provides a number of easy ways to create you own personalized palettes,
    see the "HalloweenPalette_p" to personalize your own colors.
    There are also ways to create other palettes using functions, 
    see "SetupCandyCornPalette()" & "SetupBlackAndWhiteStripedPalette()" to personalize 
    your own colors.  

#include <FastLED.h>
#include "colorutils.h"
#include "colorpalettes.h"

#define BRIGHTNESS  128 

//Define the type of pixels you are using on the next line here. 
//If you are using a strand or two of WS2801 pixels from Adafruit, update the chipset type to WS2801.
#define LED_TYPE       WS2811

//You may need to adjust your color order to "GRB" instead of "RGB" below. 

//If you are using 4-pin LEDs, you will need to uncomment and define the CLOCK_PIN 
#define DATA_PIN      6
//#define CLOCK_PIN   #

#define BUTTON_PIN   11   // button is connected to pin 11 and GND

//This sketch is set up for a matrix of 8 pixels wide and 6 pixels high. Update to match your matrix.
const uint8_t kMatrixWidth  = 8;
const uint8_t kMatrixHeight = 6;
const bool    kMatrixSerpentineLayout = true;

#define NUM_LEDS (kMatrixWidth * kMatrixHeight)   //no need to define the number of LEDS - here's the math!
#define MAX_DIMENSION ((kMatrixWidth>kMatrixHeight) ? kMatrixWidth : kMatrixHeight)

// The leds
CRGB leds[kMatrixWidth * kMatrixHeight];

uint8_t gHue = 0; // rotating "base color" used by many of the patterns
int ledMode = 0;

// The 16 bit version of our coordinates
static uint16_t x;
static uint16_t y;
static uint16_t z;

// We're using the x/y dimensions to map to the x/y pixels on the matrix.  We'll
// use the z-axis for "time".  speed determines how fast time moves forward.  Try
// 1 for a very slow moving effect, or 60 for something that ends up looking like
// water.
uint16_t speed = 10; // speed is set dynamically once we've started up

// Scale determines how far apart the pixels in our noise matrix are.  Try
// changing these values around to see how it affects the motion of the display.  The
// higher the value of scale, the more "zoomed out" the noise will be.  A value
// of 1 will be so zoomed in, you'll mostly see solid colors.
uint16_t scale = 50; // scale is set dynamically once we've started up

// This is the array that we keep our computed noise values in

CRGBPalette16 currentPalette( RainbowColors_p );
uint8_t       colorLoop = 0;

TBlendType    currentBlending;

const TProgmemPalette16 HalloweenPalette_p PROGMEM =
  CRGB:: OrangeRed,
  CRGB:: Gold,
  CRGB:: Purple,
  CRGB:: Gold,
  CRGB:: OrangeRed,
  CRGB:: Gold,
  CRGB:: Purple,
  CRGB:: OrangeRed,
  CRGB:: Gold,    
  CRGB:: Purple,
  CRGB:: Gold,
  CRGB:: OrangeRed,
  CRGB:: Gold,
  CRGB:: Purple,
  CRGB:: Gold,
  CRGB:: OrangeRed,

unsigned long keyPrevMillis = 0;
const unsigned long keySampleIntervalMs = 25;
byte longKeyPressCountMax = 80;    // 80 * 25 = 2000 ms
byte longKeyPressCount = 0;

byte prevKeyState = HIGH;         // button is active low

void setup() {

//If you are using 3-pin LEDs, uncomment the next line:
  FastLED.addLeds<LED_TYPE, DATA_PIN, COLOR_ORDER>(leds, NUM_LEDS).setCorrection(TypicalLEDStrip);
//If you are using 4-pin LEDs, uncomment the next line:
  //FastLED.addLeds<LED_TYPE, DATA_PIN, CLOCK_PIN, COLOR_ORDER>(leds, NUM_LEDS).setCorrection(TypicalLEDStrip);


  // Initialize our coordinates to some random values
  x = random16();
  y = random16();
  z = random16();

// Fill the x/y array of 8-bit noise values using the inoise8 function.
void fillnoise8() {
  // If we're runing at a low "speed", some 8-bit artifacts become visible
  // from frame-to-frame.  In order to reduce this, we can do some fast data-smoothing.
  // The amount of data smoothing we're doing depends on "speed".
  uint8_t dataSmoothing = 0;
  if( speed < 50) {
    dataSmoothing = 200 - (speed * 4);
  for(int i = 0; i < MAX_DIMENSION; i++) {
    int ioffset = scale * i;
    for(int j = 0; j < MAX_DIMENSION; j++) {
      int joffset = scale * j;
      uint8_t data = inoise8(x + ioffset,y + joffset,z);

      // The range of the inoise8 function is roughly 16-238.
      // These two operations expand those values out to roughly 0..255
      // You can comment them out if you want the raw noise data.
      data = qsub8(data,16);
      data = qadd8(data,scale8(data,39));

      if( dataSmoothing ) {
        uint8_t olddata = noise[i][j];
        uint8_t newdata = scale8( olddata, dataSmoothing) + scale8( data, 256 - dataSmoothing);
        data = newdata;
      noise[i][j] = data;
  z += speed;
  // apply slow drift to X and Y, just for visual variation.
  x += speed / 8;
  y -= speed / 16;

void mapNoiseToLEDsUsingPalette()
  static uint8_t ihue=0;
  for(int i = 0; i < kMatrixWidth; i++) {
    for(int j = 0; j < kMatrixHeight; j++) {
      // We use the value at the (i,j) coordinate in the noise
      // array for our brightness, and the flipped value from (j,i)
      // for our pixel's index into the color palette.

      uint8_t index = noise[j][i];
      uint8_t bri =   noise[i][j];

      // if this palette is a 'loop', add a slowly-changing base value
      if( colorLoop) { 
        index += ihue;

      // brighten up, as the color palette itself often contains the 
      // light/dark dynamic range desired
      if( bri > 127 ) {
        bri = 255;
      } else {
        bri = dim8_raw( bri * 2);

      CRGB color = ColorFromPalette( currentPalette, index, bri);
      leds[XY(i,j)] = color;

void loop() {  
  byte currKeyState = digitalRead(BUTTON_PIN);

  if ((prevKeyState == LOW) && (currKeyState == HIGH)) {
  prevKeyState = currKeyState;

  static uint8_t startIndex = 0;
  startIndex = startIndex + 1; /* motion speed */

  // generate noise data
  //The group of colors in a palette are sent through a strip of LEDS in speed and step increments youve chosen
  //You can change the SPEED and STEPS to make things look exactly how you want
  //SPEED refers to how fast the colors move.  
  //Try 1 for a very slow moving effect, or 60 for something that ends up looking like water.
  //SCALE refers to how zoomed in we are.  
  //Try changing these values around to see how it affects the motion of the display.  
  //The higher the value of scale, the more "zoomed out" the noise will be.  
  //A value of 1 will be so zoomed in, you'll mostly see solid colors.
  // convert the noise data to colors in the LED array using the current palette

  switch (ledMode)  {
  case 0:
  {currentPalette = RainbowColors_p;        speed = 25; scale = 25; colorLoop = 0; }
  case 1: 
  {currentPalette = HeatColors_p;           speed = 20; scale = 50; colorLoop = 2; }
  case 2:
  {SetupBlackAndWhiteStripedPalette();      speed = 20; scale = 100; colorLoop = 1; }
  case 3: 
  {currentPalette = LavaColors_p;           speed = 10; scale = 25; colorLoop = 0; }  
  case 4:
  {currentPalette = HalloweenPalette_p;     speed = 20; scale = 20; colorLoop = 1; }
  case 5: 
  {SetupCandyCornPalette();                 speed = 15; scale = 30; colorLoop = 1; }

  //FillLEDsFromPaletteColors( startIndex);;

void shortKeyPress() {
  if (ledMode > 5) {

// This function sets up a palette of black and white stripes,
// using code.  Since the palette is effectively an array of
// sixteen CRGB colors, the various fill_* functions can be used
// to set them up.
void SetupBlackAndWhiteStripedPalette()
  // 'black out' all 16 palette entries...
  fill_solid( currentPalette, 16, CRGB::Black);
  // and set every fourth one to White or Gray.
  currentPalette[0] = CRGB::White;
  currentPalette[4] = CRGB::Gray;
  currentPalette[8] = CRGB::White;
  currentPalette[12] = CRGB::Gray;


// This function sets up a palette of candy corn colors
void SetupCandyCornPalette()
    fill_solid( currentPalette, 16, CRGB::Black);
    // set half of the LEDs to the colors selected here. This palette incorporates a lot of black
    currentPalette[0] = CRGB::Orange;
    currentPalette[1] = CRGB::Yellow;
    currentPalette[2] = CRGB::Red;
    currentPalette[3] = CRGB::OrangeRed;

    currentPalette[8] = CRGB::Yellow;
    currentPalette[9] = CRGB::OrangeRed;
    currentPalette[10] = CRGB::Orange;
    currentPalette[11] = CRGB::Red;


// Mark's xy coordinate mapping code.  See the XYMatrix for more information on it.
uint16_t XY( uint8_t x, uint8_t y)
  uint16_t i;
  if( kMatrixSerpentineLayout == false) {
    i = (y * kMatrixWidth) + x;
  if( kMatrixSerpentineLayout == true) {
    if( y & 0x01) {
      // Odd rows run backwards
      uint8_t reverseX = (kMatrixWidth - 1) - x;
      i = (y * kMatrixWidth) + reverseX;
    } else {
      // Even rows run forwards
      i = (y * kMatrixWidth) + x;
  return i;

This guide was first published on Oct 19, 2018. It was last updated on Oct 19, 2018.

This page (Code) was last updated on May 15, 2022.

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