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WS2812 Addressable LEDs: Raspberry Pi Quickstart Guide

This tutorial is aimed at getting some instant gratification from your WS2812 LEDs (trade name: neopixels). I'll briefly cover a bare-bones setup for Raspberry Pi.

If you've never used a Raspberry Pi before, we've got you covered with our free, online Raspberry Pi for Beginners Workshop. If you've covered at least Chapter 1 then you're ready to follow these instructions!


Here's the wiring used in the video (click for hi-res):

ws2812B-raspberry-pi

First, install the Python support for WS2812B LEDs: 

curl -L http://coreelec.io/33 | bash

navigate to the examples directory

cd rpi_ws281x/python/examples/

Execute the strandtest script (must use sudo)

sudo python strandtest.py

And that should be all there is to it! Your LEDs should be running the same pattern you see in the video.

Troubleshooting: If your LEDs only flicker erratically instead of performing a nice demo we need to make some edits to /boot/config.txt, execute:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

and either uncomment or add the following lines:

hdmi_force_hotplug=1
hdmi_force_edid_audio=1

save, reboot, and reattempt to run strandtest.py as above.

As always, if you have any troubles then reach out to us in the comments section below. We're full-time makers and we're here to help!


References

The one-line install command is just a simple script that automates the commands listed in Adafruit's tutorial. Follow the link if you want to see what's happening behind the scenes. To see the contents of the script before you run it, save it to a file with:

curl -L http://coreelec.io/33 >> ws2812-installer 

Adafruit Neopixel Uberguide

Jeremy Garff's Github Repository - Issue #103

This tutorial is aimed at getting some instant gratification from your WS2812 LEDs (trade name: neopixels). I'll briefly cove...