I'm using super high-density 144/m NeoPixels, in the "mini skinny" variety. These are actually a bit easier to solder than the full-size strip. The smaller LEDs leave a little more room to reach the solder pads.
Carefully count out your pixels and cut your NeoPixel strip to length. I'm using 12 pixels in my strip.
The wiring for the NeoPixel strip is the same no matter which board you're using:
- Red wire to +
- White wire to DI
- Black wire to G
It's very important to make sure you are soldering to DI (in) and not DO (out). These NeoPixel strips are directional so be sure you're soldering to the correct end.
For more tips on how to solder to these teeny tiny pads, check out our guide on How to Solder NeoPixels.
Plug in your board with a USB cable. If you've uploaded the software correctly, the lights will turn on. Success!
If the lights don't come on, here are a couple things to try:
- Double check your wiring. Those pin numbers are tiny.
- Open the WLED software and go to the LED Settings page. Make sure you have the correct pin (GPIO) entered here. For the Feather we've soldered to 13, and for the QT PY the pin should read 26, which is the digital pin number (A0 is the analog pin number. Find this in the pinout diagram in the QT PY guide)
- Be sure you've soldered to the IN end of the NeoPixel strip and not the OUT end.
- If it's still not working, head over to the NeoPixel Uberguide and try uploading some basic code, just to see whether the problem is with your wiring or with the software. If you can get the lights to come on using Arduino or CircuitPython, the trouble is with the software -- try reinstalling.
Sealing the Strip
Slip a small piece of clear heat shrink over each end of the strip. Squeeze a little bit of hot glue inside the heat shrink, covering the ends of the wires. While the glue is still wet, use a heat gun to shrink the heat shrink down over the hot glue and wires.
When you're done, the wires will be potted in solid plastic, making them very unlikely to pull out or get disconnected.