LED strips are one of the most popular light sources in the world today. From car modding, interior design, to cosplay, it’s hard to find a place where LED strips haven’t been used. Their size, ease of use, and fairly low price led them to become a staple for makers everywhere. They also make an unbeatable combination when combined with the versatility of the Arduino platform. As a beginner, using LED strips may seem like a daunting task, but not to fear! This guide serves as a practical introduction to using and integrating LED strips into your projects.
A basic understanding of circuits is needed. If you want to make your own controller, you’ll also need to have some experience programming with Arduino.
At their core, LED strips are just surface mount LEDs attached to a flexible substrate. The three most common types of strips are single color, RGB, and addressable. Whichever you decide to use entirely depends on your project.
Single color strips are the least complex LED strip. True to their name, they display only a single color, pre-determined by the manufacturer. With only two terminals, they operate similarly to a normal LED. Due to their low complexity, they are often cheaper than their RGB and addressable counterparts.