DotStar Matrices

DotStar matrices are two-dimensional grids of DotStar LEDs, all controlled from two microcontroller pins.

Flexible DotStar Matrices

Flexible DotStar matrices are available in three different sizes:

Size

Dimensions

Total # of LEDs

Max Power Draw (approx)

8x8

80 mm / 3.15" square

64

19 Watts (3.8 Amps at 5 Volts)

16x16

160 mm / 6.3" square

256

77 Watts (15 Amps at 5 Volts)

8x32

320 mm x 80 mm / 12.6" x 3"

256

77 Watts (15 Amps at 5 Volts)

Flex matrices are about 2 millimeters (0.08 inches) thick.

Though called “flexible,” these matrices do not tolerate continuous and repeated bending. “Formable” might be a better word — they can be bent around a rigid or semi-rigid shape, like a hat. Repeated flexing (as on costumes) will soon crack the solder connections. (The videos on the product pages are to highlight just how flexible these matrices are, but this really is a “don’t try this at home” thing.)

Flex matrices are available with RGB pixels only; pure white is not offered.

Rigid DotStar Matrices

A couple of small, non-flexible variants are available:

Adafruit DotStar High Density 8x8 Grid

This is the tiniest little LED grid we could make, with 64 full RGB color pixels in a square that is only 1" by 1" square (25.4mm x 25.4mm). Best of all, these are little DotStar LEDs, with built in PWM drivers, so you only need two digital I/O pins to get a-glowin'.

Adafruit DotStar FeatherWing

Stacks atop any of our Feather microcontroller boards. Arranged in a 6x12 matrix, each 2mm by 2mm sized RGB pixel is individually addressable. Only two pins are required to control all the LEDs.

 

Finer Details About DotStar Matrices

As mentioned on the DotStar Strips page, keep power consumption in mind when working with DotStar matrices. With so many pixels at your disposal, it’s easy to get carried away.

If you need a size or shape of DotStar matrix that’s not offered here, it’s possible to create your own using sections of DotStar strip!

DotStar matrices don’t enforce any particular “topology” — some may have rows of pixels arranged left-to-right, others may alternate left-to-right and right-to-left rows, or they could be installed in vertical columns instead. This will require some planning in your code. Our DotStarMatrix library supports most matrix topologies.

This guide was first published on Dec 24, 2014. It was last updated on Dec 24, 2014. This page (DotStar Matrices) was last updated on Aug 21, 2019.