If you need just a small number of pixels…or if ready-made shapes and strips don’t quite provide what you’re after…individual NeoPixels provide the most control over placement and quantity.
Some individual NeoPixel products come ready to use, with a small PCB holding the LED, a decoupling capacitor for power, and points for connecting wires.
The original Adafruit NeoPixel form factor! Flora RGB Smart NeoPixels were designed for wearable projects using conductive thread, but can also be soldered normally with wires. These are available in two formats:
- Pack of 4, ready to use as-is.
- Sheet of 20, cut them off the sheet as you need them and save a little money.
Flora RGB Smart Pixels measure about 12.5 millimeters (0.5 inches) in diameter. These are RGB only; there’s no RGBW version.
These are similar to the sewable Flora NeoPixels, but with a pin arrangement that (with the addition of headers) fits neatly into a breadboard for prototyping. Also available in two formats:
For both types, headers are optional and not included.
Breadboard-Friendly NeoPixels measure 10.2 x 12.7 millimeters (0.4 x 0.5 inches) and are RGB only; there’s no RGBW version.
NeoPixel Mini Button PCBs are the smallest ready-to-use NeoPixel format — each on its own tiny board with an input resistor and decoupling capacitor.
- NeoPixel Mini Button PCB — RGB version, sold in packs of 5
- NeoPixel RGBW Mini Button PCB — RGBW, sold in packs of 10
These have no mounting holes or soldering vias…wires must be soldered directly to pads on the back of the PCB.
Each is about 10 millimeters (0.3 inches) in diameter.
For advanced users needing fully customized designs, discrete NeoPixel components are available. You’ll need to provide your own PCB and (depending on the pixel type) surface-mount soldering skill.
It’s very strongly recommended that each NeoPixel have an accompanying 0.1 μF capacitor between +V and ground. This prevents communication problems due to brownout of the on-pixel driver logic. It’s occasionally sufficient to have one capacitor between pairs of pixels; some of our NeoPixel rings work that way.
Discrete Through-hole NeoPixels are available in two sizes:
- 8mm Diffused – pack of 5.
- 5mm Diffused – pack of 5.
- 5mm Clear have been discontinued, but the product page is still available if you require pinout information.
Through-hole NeoPixels are RGB only; there’s no RGBW version. Use of a 0.1 μF capacitor between + and ground on each pixel is strongly encouraged.
Surface-mount “5050” (5 millimeter square) NeoPixels are available in many varieties:
- 5050 RGB LED – pack of 10.
- RGBW NeoPixel – Cool White – white case – pack of 10.
- RGBW NeoPixel – Neutral White – white case – pack of 10.
- RGBW NeoPixel – Warm White – white case – pack of 10.
- RGBW NeoPixel – Cool White – black case – pack of 10.
- RGBW NeoPixel – Neutral White – black case – pack of 10.
- RGBW NeoPixel – Warm White – black case – pack of 10.
- NeoPixel – Cool White (3X white, no RGB) – pack of 10.
- NeoPixel – Warm White (3X white, no RGB) – pack of 10.
All measure 5 millimeters square. Adding a 0.1 μF capacitor between + and ground is recommended for each pixel, positioned close by, though often one cap per two pixels will suffice.
The white- and black-cased pixels are functionally identical; this is purely an aesthetic choice for your design.
“Cool white” measures approximately 6000 Kelvin. “Neutral white” is approx. 4500K. “Warm White” is approx. 3000K.
Tiny surface-mount “3535” (3.5 millimeters square) NeoPixels are available in two RGB versions; no RGBW is available.
Decoupling capacitor recommended, as described above. As with the “5050” NeoPixels, white- and black-cased versions are functionally identical, this is an aesthetic design option.
The NeoPixel driver logic is available separately from the LEDs, allowing power-users to create extremely customized designs…perhaps using other LED colors, or combined with power MOSFETs to control high-current LEDs or “analog” RGB LED strips using the NeoPixel protocol.
These require circuit design skills, custom PCBs and fine surface-mount soldering. A 0.1 uF decoupling capacitor is recommended for each chip.