NeoPixel Shield

Put on your sunglasses before putting this shield onto your 'duino - 40 eye-blistering RGB LEDs adorn the NeoPixel shield for a blast of configurable color. Arranged in a 5x8 matrix, each pixel is individually addressable. Only one pin (Digital #6) is required to control all the LEDs. You can cut a trace and use nearly any other pin if you need some customization.

Plug-and-Play Compatible Boards

The NeoPixel Shield is tested and fully compatible with the following boards:
  • Arduino Uno (all revisions)
  • Arduino Leonardo
  • Arduino Mega 2560, 1280 and ADK (all revisions)
  • Arduino Duemilanove and Diecimila w/ATmega328 chip
  • Arduino Due

Pin and Address Reference

The shield uses the following pins:
  • +5V (external 5V connection recommended)
  • GND
  • Digital pin 6 (can be changed by cutting trace on shield and adding jumper wire)
This shield can be stacked atop most others.

Because only a few connections are needed (+5V, ground and data), this shield is easy to use as a standalone LED matrix with alternate Arduino form-factors (Arduino Micro, FIO, etc.).

Untested Boards and Other Notes

  • Adafruit Menta: equivalent to Arduino Duemilanove w/328 chip; almost certainly compatible.
  • Arduino Duemilanove and Diecimila w/ATmega168 chip: electrically and mechanically compatible with 328 chip, but has only half the RAM and program space. NeoPixels use a fair amount of RAM, but there’s probably space for this to work (possibly even chaining an extra NeoPixel shield or two), provided other code is not terribly complex.
  • Arduino NG or older: possibly compatible, memory constraints permitting.
If you have specific experience with this shield on the above boards or others, please use the Feedback & Corrections link at left. Thanks!

If experiencing trouble with a board listed as “compatible,” review the introduction for tips and visit the Adafruit Forums for assistance.
This guide was first published on Aug 14, 2013. It was last updated on Oct 16, 2018. This page (NeoPixel Shield) was last updated on May 04, 2015.