High-power ZigBee LED light controller

Hue-compatible LED light controller with 12 channels, each capable of controlling up to 384 W

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This project is a 12-channel PWM controller board, designed for high-power LED lights, such as RGB and white LED strips. Each channel is able to handle up to 24 V and up to 16 A. The board communicates wirelessly using the ZigBee Light Link protocol, so it can be controlled with the Hue app.

Each channel has individually-configurable brightness and gamma controls, and the lights can be configured to work in a computed white mode that bonds the RGB/white channels to give more pleasant whites.

This project builds on the work of PeeVeeOne - thanks a bunch to them!

This project is based around the JN5168, a wireless microcontroller that can be used in ZigBee applications.

Source code is available here: Unfourtunately, some parts of NXP's ZigBee stack are closed-source, so this project is not pure open-source.

Gerbers for PCB manufacture, mini board variant

x-zip-compressed - 25.83 kB - 05/30/2018 at 14:48


Gerbers for PCB manufacture, standard board variant

x-zip-compressed - 48.67 kB - 05/30/2018 at 14:48



Firmware binary for standard board variant

octet-stream - 170.26 kB - 05/30/2018 at 14:31



Firmware binary for mini board variant

octet-stream - 170.63 kB - 05/30/2018 at 14:31


  • 1
    Getting the board

    The board comes in two variants: standard and mini. The standard variant has 12 channels, and supports 3 RGB lights + 3 white lights. The mini variant only supports 1 RGB light + 1 white light. The KiCad project files can be found here for the standard variant, and here for the mini variant.

    The mini board is 83 mm x 71 mm, whereas the standard board is 159 mm x 71 mm. Because the mini board is smaller than 100 mm x 100 mm, it's much cheaper to get the mini boards made.

    Gerbers for both variants are available in the Files section of this project.

    Gerbers can also be generated using KiCad (I used version 4.0.7). If you haven't used KiCad before, this is usually done by opening the project in KiCad, opening Pcbnew, selecting "File"..."Plot". Here are some typical settings:

    Clicking "Plot" and then "Generate Drill File" (then clicking "Drill File" in the dialog box that pops up) will dump all the gerbers in the specified output directory.

    The gerbers can be sent to the PCB fabrication place of your choice. The board has quite relaxed requirements: minimum 0.2 mm track spacing, 0.254 mm track width and 0.6 mm diameter holes.

    The exact procedure for gerber file submission depends on the fabrication house; you'll have to carefully follow their instructions. If all goes well, you end up with:

  • 2
    Getting the components

    The BOM (in .xlsx format) can be found here for the standard variant, and here for the mini variant. The BOM contains exact manufacturer part codes for all components. However, depending on when you are reading this, some of those parts will probably be out of stock. For most of the resistors and capacitors, substitution with another part of the same value is possible - see the "Notes" column for restrictions on substitution.

  • 3
    Assembling the board

    The orientation of most of the components can be determined by their footprint. However, there are a few difficult parts. On standard-variant boards, the ZXGD3009 should be oriented so that the barely-visible "3009" reads in the same direction as the R14/R15 etc. designations, like this:

    On both variants, the MCP16301 has a tiny pin 1 mark that should be placed next to the longer line on the silkscreen. Alternatively, the text on the chip should read so that the "U1" designator is to the left of the text (i.e. the text is upside-down compared to the rest of the silkscreen text on the board):

    All diodes have a line where the cathode goes:

    The mounted standard-variant board looks like this:

    The boards don't have a high part density, so they can be soldered by hand, even if all you have is a budget soldering iron. But I would highly recommend using the skillet reflow method as it is easier, and all the parts are on one side anyway. Using a reflow method is also good because it ensures that the huge drain pads of the MOSFETs get (thermally and electrically) connected properly.

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Michael wrote 08/20/2019 at 09:52 point

Thanks for sharing your project. I've just received 5 large and 10 mini pcbs which I had made to play with. Also ordered enough parts to build 3 large and 5 mini boards as I'm sure to mess up at least some! I've never tried using solder paste before but theres a first time for everything, I couldnt figure out how to deal with the mosfets heatsinks with a soldering iron. 

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