NeoPixel Strips

Measure NeoPixel Strip

Now it's time to work on our LED strips. Start by measuring how many NeoPixel LEDs we can fit into the blades. I was able to fit 43 pixels per blade (a total of 86), but you might be able to squeeze one or two more (or less if you want!).

Cut LED Strip

Once you've decided how many NeoPixel LEDs you want in the blades, use your finger to mark where on the strip needs to end. Then, use a pair of scissors to cut in between two NeoPixels. These strips are designed to be cut across the three copper pads. Make sure you cut in the middle to provide each end with sufficent area for making soldered connections. 

Trim Wired Connectors

You may find it necessary to remove the wired connectors from the LED strip. They're too bulky to reuse in this project and we'll be making wires with various lengths so we don't really need them.

Remove Sheating

I didn't find it necessary to keep the sheating on the LED strip. It was difficult to insert it into the blade with the sheathing on so that's why I removed it. If you wanted, you might be able to install it with the sheating, but I found it cumbersome. 

Support NeoPixel LED Strips

Now's a good time to plan and test out how to install the Neopixel strips into the blades. Try it with the sheathing, without and see how well it rests inside. I eventually found the strip to be "wiggly" and not straight while inside the blade. A good solution is to provide support to the back of the strips. My solution was to 3D print thin strips and secure them to the back of the strip. This provides support and keeps them straight while inserting them into the blades. You could use a sheet of plastic or precut material. Time to get creative!

Attach Supports to Strips

Now you'll need to sort out how to keep the supports secured to the LED strips. I used double sided nitto tape and cut strips in half so they're the same width (5mm) as the LED strips. Pull off the non-adhesive backing and stick them to the back of the strips. You'll need multiple pieces to cover most of the LED strip. 

Heat Shrink Tubing

I also used pieces of heat shrink tubbing to secure multiple sticks together. That kept the joints sturdy and more secure.

Second NeoPixel Strip

You'll need to repeat this process for the second NeoPixel LED strip.

Next Steps

OK now is a good check point. At this point, we should have our code uploaded to the Trinket and powered via the switch PCB and 3x AAA batteries. We have two NeoPixel LED strips cut and prepped. In the next section, we're start wiring our components together.

This guide was first published on Jan 18, 2017. It was last updated on Jan 18, 2017. This page (NeoPixel Strips) was last updated on Nov 21, 2019.