This guide was first published on Jul 29, 2012. It was last
updated on Jul 29, 2012.
This page (Meet the Pieces) was last updated on Apr 22, 2019.
Our Digital RGB LED Pixels are the ultimate Christmas lights. Under software control, the color and brightness of every single “pixel” can be set and animated.
The 25 pixel strand included in the Project Pack is is suitable for monitors up to 27 inches (70 cm) diagonal.
Arduino is the microcontroller development board that’s taken the DIY world by storm. Adalight uses an Arduino Uno connected to a USB port to shuttle data between the host computer and the lights.
Processing is a programming environment designed for multimedia applications and first-time code developers, and it runs equally well on Windows, Mac and Linux computers. If you’ve never programmed before, that’s okay — we provide all the code, you just need to install it and start it running.
The Adalight Project Pack bundles together one strand of our “bullet” LED Pixels (25 lights), a 5 Volt power supply and a DC jack adapter (so there’s no soldering required). You provide your own Arduino microcontroller — we highly recommend using the Arduino Uno. The project pack a good starter setup, or you can choose to buy all the parts separately if you have plans for a larger or more specialized display.
As explained in the introduction, please read through the complete tutorial for an idea of what other parts and tools you may need: USB cable, wire, tape, etc.
Why doesn't the Project Pack include the Arduino microcontroller?
Arduino has become so popular among electronics hobbyists that many already own one…or even have spares around. This also allows a choice for technical users who may want to substitute a different microcontroller and not have to pay for an Arduino they won’t be using.
Wouldn’t the Arduino Mega be faster and better?
Not in this case. The Arduino Mega has more I/O and RAM — it’s great for robots and such — but these provide no benefit for Adalight. So if you’re buying a microcontroller specifically for this project, save some money and get the Uno. Adalight also works 100% with older Arduinos like the Duemilanove and Diecimila (even the earlier “168” version), if you have a retired one sitting around. Do not use an Arduino Leonardo…this is a young product and still has some quirks preventing its reliable use with Adalight.