The easiest way to get the lights on bright is using Microsoft's MakeCode editor. It just takes a few minutes to drag and drop code blocks to get your Circuit Playground Express up and running.

Head to to get started.

The code we're writing is simple: we'll tell our Circuit Playground that we have a strip soldered to pin A1, with (in my case) 112 pixels. We'll set it to full brightness, then set all the lights to bright white.

Note: making your pixels full brightness will suck your battery dry really quickly. I've recommended a pretty beefy battery, but if you're planning to take this out for more than an hour, you might want to get two batteries so you can keep your glow at maximum brightness.

Here's the finished code in case you want to just download and go!

  1. From LOOPS: drag an instance of on start into your workspace.
  2. From NEOPIXEL (click LIGHT tab to make this appear): drag set strip to create strip on A1 with 30 pixels. Change the 30 to reflect the total number of pixels you have.
  3. From NEOPIXEL: drag set strip brightness and change to 255 for full brightness.
  4. From NEOPIXEL: drag set strip all pixels to red and change red to white

That's it! Click the "Download" button to download the code. Plug your Circuit Playground Express into your computer via the USB port, and a drive will appear called CPLAYBOOT. (If you don't see it, try clicking or double-clicking the onboard reset button.) Drag the file you just downloaded onto this drive to program the board.

If you're having trouble, head over to this MakeCode tutorial for some troubleshooting tips.

More Ideas

MakeCode has lots of easy to use options to spice up your project. Play around with using the onboard sensors (accessed under the INPUT tab) or create light animations (from the NEOPIXEL tab) to see what kind of fun things you can make your parasol do.

This guide was first published on May 28, 2019. It was last updated on May 28, 2019.

This page (Code with MakeCode) was last updated on May 20, 2019.

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