Build this project at our next weekend-long Arduino workshop!

Rainbow LED Strip

The LED Strip contains up to 160 individually-controllable RGB LEDs. Use them in your lounge or in a club!



Wire up your Arduino as shown in the image below:

Fritzing diagram

The colors of the wires are purely cosmetic; you don’t need to match the colors shown in the diagram.


  1. Install the LPD8806 library.

  2. Test your strip with some sample code:

     #include "LPD8806.h"
     #include "SPI.h"
     // Simple test for 160 (5 meters) of LPD8806-based RGB LED strip
     // Number of RGB LEDs in strand:
     int nLEDs = 50;
     // Chose 2 pins for output; can be any valid output pins:
     // int dataPin  = 2;
     // int clockPin = 3;
     // First parameter is the number of LEDs in the strand.  The LED strips
     // are 32 LEDs per meter but you can extend or cut the strip.  Next two
     // parameters are SPI data and clock pins:
     // LPD8806 strip = LPD8806(nLEDs, dataPin, clockPin);
     // You can optionally use hardware SPI for faster writes, just leave out
     // the data and clock pin parameters.  But this does limit use to very
     // specific pins on the Arduino.  For "classic" Arduinos (Uno, Duemilanove,
     // etc.), data = pin 11, clock = pin 13.  For Arduino Mega, data = pin 51,
     // clock = pin 52.  For 32u4 Breakout Board+ and Teensy, data = pin B2,
     // clock = pin B1.  For Leonardo, this can ONLY be done on the ICSP pins.
     LPD8806 strip = LPD8806(nLEDs);
     void setup() {
       // Start up the LED strip
       // Update the strip, to start they are all 'off';
     void loop() {
       colorChase(strip.Color(127,  0,  0), 100); // Red
       colorChase(strip.Color(  0,127,  0), 100); // Green
       colorChase(strip.Color(  0,  0,127), 100); // Blue
       colorChase(strip.Color(127,127,127), 100); // White
     // Chase one dot down the full strip.  Good for testing purposes.
     void colorChase(uint32_t c, uint8_t wait) {
       int i;
       // Start by turning all pixels off:
       for(i=0; i<strip.numPixels(); i++) strip.setPixelColor(i, 0);
       // Then display one pixel at a time:
       for(i=0; i<strip.numPixels(); i++) {
         strip.setPixelColor(i, c); // Set new pixel 'on';              // Refresh LED states
         strip.setPixelColor(i, 0); // Erase pixel, but don't refresh!
  ; // Refresh to turn off last pixel