To make wiring simple, we recommend a couple of different products available in our store. First we recommend a DC Power jack with terminals so it's easy to connect up to an external power supply.

The other product that makes it easy if you have one of our NeoPixel Matrices is a 2-wire JST SM connector so you can use the the data line without cutting anything:

Likewise, if you have one of our DotStar Matrices, we have a 4-wire version as well:

Another easy option to connect NeoPixels is to use some Jumper Wires:

NeoPixel Matrix Wiring

Wiring the pixels up to either a Microcontroller running CircuitPython or a Raspberry Pi running Blinka is very easy since either one only uses a single GPIO pin. Adafruit matrices come wired with separate power wires and data lines which makes it really easy to connect.

CircuitPython Wiring

It is recommended using a microcontroller with an M4 processor, because it can drive a lot of NeoPixels fast and doesn't cost much more than an M0 board.

To connect it, you will need to wire it as follows:

  • Connect the red wire to +5V on the power supply.
  • Connect the black wire to Ground on the power supply
  • Connect the white DIN wire of the female JST connector to D6 on the Microcontroller
  • Connect the black wire of the female JST connector to Ground on the Microcontroller

Raspberry Pi Wiring

Raspberry Pi boards are powerful enough to drive lots of NeoPixels, but you will need to connect it to GPIO10, GPIO12, GPIO18 or GPIO21 to work! We recommend GPIO18, which is Pin 12 on the 40-pin header.

To connect it, you will need to wire it as follows:

  • Connect the red wire to +5V on the power supply.
  • Connect the black wire to Ground on the power supply
  • Connect the white wire of the JST connector to GPIO18 (Pin 12) on the Microcontroller
  • Connect the black wire of the JST connector to Ground (Pin 6) on the Microcontroller

For more information on wiring other configurations, be sure to check out our Adafruit NeoPixel Überguide.

DotStar Wiring

Wiring the DotStar matrix up will only take up two GPIO pins. Adafruit matrices come wired with separate power wires and a connector with the power, data, and clock lines in a single connector, which makes them easy to chain together. For a very in-depth guide on DotStars and wiring them up in various configurations, be sure to checkout the Adafruit DotStar LEDs guide.

This guide was first published on Sep 22, 2020. It was last updated on 2023-12-04 10:54:22 -0500.

This page (Wiring) was last updated on Sep 18, 2020.

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