LED Programming With Arduino & FastLED

Learn how to program RGB LEDs with the FastLED library & Arduino IDE!

Instructors cathy-laughlinCathy Laughlin
Tuesday, September 29, 2020 08:00 am PDT Local time zone:
Register for thiscourse
Similar projects worth following

Suggested Equipment: 

Class Github (download all the example code here):

Course Syllabus

Class 1: First Light will cover the following:

  • Programmable LEDs, including different common products (matrix, strips, pixel modules, neopixel rings) and how to power them safely. 
  • Ohm's law, circuits, current, and resistors. 
  • How to use FastLED sketches. 

We are assuming that most students know how to use an Arduino, but we'll do our best to start from the beginning. 

Class 2: More Advanced Patterns will cover the following:

  • How to increase or decrease brightness in code
  • How to snake LEDs or address them in parallel
  • How to make animated patterns using RGB values
  • How to use FastLED color palettes
  • How to use timers and randomness / beats / sines to make generative patterns

Class 3: Sensor Input will cover the following:

  • How to use sensor input with LEDs. 
  • Experiment with using the light sensor, the cap touch, and the motion sensor on the Circuit Playground to change our LED patterns.

Class 4: Matrix patterns will cover the following:

  • Develop matrix patterns and advanced matrix techniques. 
  • Learn to use & experiment with the FastLED noise algorithm (made for matrices)

Playlist for the LED Programming with Arduino & FastLED series:

View all 8 components

View all 6 course classes

Enjoy this course?



Broderdominiqueson84 wrote 05/16/2022 at 00:53 point

Great. You have developed such an amazing and explanatory course. As I was searching for it because our team of truely need to learn it. I am going to share the link of this course with all of my employees so they could take start of learning it.

  Are you sure? yes | no

macewmi wrote 09/26/2021 at 18:47 point

Cathy, in video 1, you show a bench power supply that displays 5V.  When the matrix is running, there is a number underneath the 5.000 that changes as the LED pattern changes.  What does that number represent?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Cathy Laughlin wrote 09/26/2021 at 19:23 point

The bottom number on that power supply is current draw (amps). The value changes when animating based on the brightness, color, and number of LEDs which are lit. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

jasminepilcher wrote 09/29/2020 at 10:29 point
hi it is difficult for me to attend office hours because of time zone difference but I have been trying to combine colour palette matrix with demo reel and haven't had much success. I am confused as to how to integrate the color palette timer with the simple pattern list..of demo reel.. is it possible for you guys to make an example code of this? Otherwise can I email someone directly about it with the code? thanks

  Are you sure? yes | no

Cathy Laughlin wrote 09/29/2020 at 17:02 point

I just PM'd you with my email address!

  Are you sure? yes | no

steve.scherbinski wrote 09/17/2020 at 09:46 point

The video for the 2nd class is unavailable, even though I followed the link sent in the email.

Are office hours being recorded?  I'm unable to attend, but would still like to hear what is being discussed.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Lutetium wrote 09/17/2020 at 16:52 point

Hello! Here is the link to the Class Playlist:    

This playlist is updated each week when the new class videos are released. Office Hours will not be released like the class video recordings, but you may ask questions on the Course page.

  Are you sure? yes | no

gmickleson wrote 08/14/2020 at 09:59 point

Please can someone assist. How long is each class? Do I buy one ticket OR one for each class?

  Are you sure? yes | no

mirabellejones wrote 08/16/2020 at 06:28 point

When you go to purchase tickets using the "Select A Date" link on eventbrite (link below) there will be an option to purchase one ticket for each class session. Each class contains an hour of material and there is an office hour with the instructors once per week so you can ask any questions that come up! Ticketing Link:

  Are you sure? yes | no

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates