Today, smart LEDs are everywhere, and come in a variety of styles — including a style that looks like a traditional string of Christmas lights. My friend, Matt
used these with some specialty code I wrote to recreate
the message-from-beyond scene from the TV series,
Stranger Things. Figure 1 shows Matt’s living room
converted to look like the show.
The WS2801 that I referenced above is a two-wire
device that drives external LEDs. This made way for the
WS2811 which uses a single-wire protocol; hence, is a
little trickier to program due to the bit timing
specifications. The WS2812 combines driver electronics
and an RGB LED in the same 5 mm package. An
improvement on this was made in the form of the
WS2812b, and another offering called the SK6812 series
(white) LED in the package. It just might be time
to have a look at my pixel driver and bring it up-to-date with new choices.