Grab the software and follow the instructions on that page for getting the Pi able to output to SPI. Do install spidev. It's important that you use the hardware SPI because any bit-banging approach won't be fast enough.
sudo raspi-config to enable hardware SPI (follow instructions at git page). While you're there, set the audio output to be out the 3.5mm jack rather than the HDMI connector.
I added the install directory to my PYTHONPATH in bashrc so I could call the functions from anywhere.
(you could also add PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:/home/pi/RPi-LPD8806 to /etc/environments, but this will require a reboot to register on new terminal windows)
Test out that the strip works by running the example code:
The xmas light code we're going to download later wants to run as root, and when you run things with a sudo in front, the environment variables, specifically, PYTHONPATH aren't transferred.
To keep those environment variables around, edit /etc/sudoers by typing
and then add to the bottom
the first line is something we'll need for the xmas light package to be installed later.
To test that you have it setup right and can run things as root, close the terminal and re-open, then type
from bootstrap import *
that should turn on the first 10 LEDs. You might need to restart a terminal window to make sure the environment variables get loaded.
I looped my strip back and forth on a baby gate with twist ties, but this wastes LEDs at the bends. A cleaner route would be to cut the strip into 5 even segments and solder 4-wire jumpers between each segment. You'll just need to adjust the address of the LEDs for the columns.