Add animated programmable lights to your costume or project. This first-timer guide will walk you through the basics and get you up and running in minutes.
You don't need any fancy soldering equipment or programming knowledge -- Adafruit's Circuit Playground Express makes it really simple, so you can spend your time on making your project amazing and unique.
We'll be using NeoPixels in this guide. NeoPixel is a fancy name for lights you can program.
- A Circuit Playground Express
- A battery (unless your project can plug in via USB)
- Some NeoPixel lights
- A bolt-on kit for attaching the lights
- Wire strippers
- A USB cable for programming (some cables are charge-only, you'll need a good one that can pass data)
Adafruit's Circuit Playground Base Kit already comes with a battery holder and batteries, plus a USB cable for programming, so it's perfect for first-timers.
As for the lights: there are so many different kinds to choose from, so it's really up to you! I'll go into more detail later on, but here's a great one to start with.
If you get parts separate from the Base Kit, be sure to get a good quality data+power USB cable. 75% of issues with a microcontroller are a poor or incorrect USB connection.
Adafruit's bolt-on kit is an easy way to securely attach the lights to the Circuit Playground. If you have a soldering iron, you can always solder them instead -- but the bolt-on kit works just as well, and at a bargain price.
You'll also need some wire strippers. These will both cut and strip wires of varying sizes. You can't do electronics without wire strippers, and it's amazing how often they come in handy.