Your board has multiple APA102 (DotStar, in Adafruit jargon) RGB LEDs built in. Boards running the WipperSnapper firmware can be wirelessly controlled by Adafruit IO to interact with Dotstars.

On this page, you'll learn how to change the color and brightness of the DotStars built into your board from Adafruit IO.

Where are the DotStars on my board?

The FunHouse has 5 DotStar RGB LEDs (highlighted in red) located at the top of the board.

Create a DotStar Component

On the device page, click the New Component (or `+`) button to open the component picker.

Search for the component name by entering dotstar into the text box on the component picker, the list of components should update as soon as you stop typing

Filtering and searching for components

WipperSnapper supports such a large number of components we added filtering!
Try searching for various keywords, like:

  • component names: aht20servobuzzerbutton, dotstar, etc
  • sensor types: lighttemperaturepressurehumidity, etc
  • interface: i2cuartds18x20pin, etc (also I2C addresses e.g. 0x44)
  • vendor: AdafruitASAIRInfineonBosch, Honeywell, Sensirion, etc

We’ve also added product and documentation links to every component, follow the links beneath the component descriptions to be taken to the appropriate product page or Learn-Guide

Select the DotStar from the list of results to go to the component configuration page.

There will be a back button if you select the wrong component, and you can use the Edit component icon (⚙️) on the device page to update the component configuration in the future.

The board's DotStar data and clock pins are automatically found and selected.

The FunHouse contains five DotStar pixels. Set the Number of Pixels to 5.

The color order used by the FunHouse's DotStar strand is not the default BRG ordering. Set the Color Order to BGR.

Click Create Component

Behind the scenes, Adafruit IO sends a command to your board running WipperSnapper firmware telling it to initialize a new DotStar strand with the settings from the form.

The Device page shows the DotStar component.

Set the DotStar's RGB Color

Since no colors have been set yet, the color picker's default value is #000000 (black in hex color code) and appears "off". Let's change that to make the DotStars shine brightly!

On the device page, click the color dropper at the end of the color swatch list.

The Dotstar component should expand, revealing its color picker.

Hex Colors 101

The color picker on Adafruit IO uses hex color codes to represent Red, Green, and Blue values. For example, #FF0000 is the hex color code for the color red. The colors (#FF0000) red component is FF (255 translated to decimal), the green component is 00 and the blue component is 00. Translated to RGB format, the color is RGB (255, 0, 0)

Using the color picker, or by manually entering a hex color code, select a color.

When you're ready to set the color of your device's DotStars, click FILL WITH COLOR. The DotStars on your board will glow with the color you selected!

Set DotStar Brightness

If the DotStar strand is too bright (or too dim), you can change the overall brightness. Click the gear/cog icon on the DotStar component to open its settings.

On the DotStar component form, set Brightness to a value between 0 (fully off) and 255 (full brightness).

Click the Update Component button to send the updated configuration to your device. 

DotStar FAQ

I'm getting the wrong colors. Red and blue are swapped!

Different versions of DotStar LEDs expect to receive color data in a different order…and occasionally it may change if it improves production efficiency or yield.

If you are having this issue - Try changing the Color Order setting (within the DotStar component's settings) until you find one that works with your hardware.

Why does the color on my DotStar not look exactly like it does on the color picker?

WipperSnapper firmware automatically performs gamma correction using the gamma32 function in the Adafruit_DotStar library. However, it may not be completely identical to the gamma correction used by your operating system or monitor.

I want to set the colors of individual pixels on my DotStar strand

There are future plans for setting the colors of individual pixels, but at this time DotStar support on WipperSnapper currently only supports filling an entire strand of pixels with one color.

Does this support DotStar Matrixes?

WipperSnapper does not currently support NxN matrices of DotStars at this time.

This guide was first published on Apr 20, 2021. It was last updated on Jul 13, 2024.

This page (DotStar LEDs) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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