Adafruit's NeoPixels ecosystem is a platform consisting of individually-addressable RGB LEDs. There's plug-and-play compatibility with many different microcontrollers and maker boards. With a bevy of different form factors, you can find tons of NeoPixels-powered gadgets ranging from LED rings to light strips. Looking for the best Adafruit NeoPixels devices on the market? Here are the top Adafruit NeoPixels gadgets you can buy!
What is Adafruit NeoPixels?
NeoPixels from Adafruit is an ecosystem of products featuring individually-addressable LED lights. These are powered by microcontrollers such as Arduinos or Circuit Playground devices. Then, lights are configured in different ways to show different colors or lighting effects.
RGB LED light strips are incredibly popular and versatile. You can use NeoPixel light strips for anything from ambient behind-the-TV lights and under-cabinet lighting to LEDs in maker projects like do-it-yourself (DIY) lightsabers. As such, a set of LED strip lights is a versatile option for adorning pretty much any project with gorgeous accent lighting. RGB light strips are flexible and bendable for adapting to pretty much any surface. Aside from standard light strips, you'll also find LED side strips that emit at 90-degrees and are engineered to run around corners. Strip lights are best for a variety of different scenarios where you need, quite literally, flexible lighting options.
Single through-hole LEDs are super useful. Basic projects work well such as blinking an LED. Or, you can outfit a breadboard with multiple through-hole LEDs. Arduino microcontrollers work great for controlling these single LEDs with the NeoPixel library for Arduino. Or, Adafruit's own Trinket microcontrollers work well. There are tons of different example code snippets for an array of options for setting how often colors change.
The aptly-named NeoPixel jewel RGB LED is a true gem in the NeoPixels lineup. Small and outfitted with seven RGB LEDs, it's small yet encrusted with lovely RGB lighting. You can chain together Adafruit NeoPixels jewel RGB LEDs for controlling multiple devices with a single microcontroller. Complete with mounting holes and chainable, this is a fantastic solution for cosplay. Adorn any outfit with NeoPixel jewels for a gorgeous costume.
Ring lights are convenient means of adding LEDs to any project. Elegant and resembling the Arc Reactor from "Iron Man," ring lights may be chained together and powered by a single microcontroller. Each of the onboard 24 LEDs is individually-addressable. Rather than attempting to build your own ring light out of separate LEDs, you can simply use a pre-built ring light. It's affordable and easy to use. You can find all sorts of ring lights with varying numbers of LEDs such as options with 16, 24, 60, or other amounts of lights.
Adafruit offers its own stellar microcontrollers in its FeatherWing boards. And the NeoPixel FeatherWing 4 x 8 RGB LED add-on board lets you easily incorporate LEDs into your project. It's a user-friendly LED matrix that simply plugs into the headers on a FeatherWing board for seamless integration with your projects. Boasting 32 RGB LEDs, it's capable of putting out tons of light.
Although NeoPixels may easily be used with microcontrollers such as the Arduino, a shield for Arduino makes connecting NeoPixels devices that much easier. The NeoPixel shield for Arduino sports 40 RGB LEDs in a 5 x 8 matrix. Each pixel is individually addressable for limitless lighting possibilities. You can chain together Arduino shields for a slew of lights in a string. Adafruit's NeoPixel shield for Arduino is ready to use with devices like the Arduino Uno, Leonardo, Micro, Flora, Gemma, Trinket, and Duemilanove out-of-the-box.
Sporting 64 individually-addressable RGB LEDs, the NeoMatrix is a stunningly-gorgeous NeoPixel device. It's incredibly customizable and utilizes a single-pin design for simple connectivity with a smorgasbord of different microcontrollers.
Sometimes, you just need a flexible LED matrix. And this 8 x 32 bendable NeoPixel matrix touts a massive 256 LEDs. It's bright and thick yet easy to contort into different curves. Because of the flexible nature of this matrix, it could be utilized in wearable tech, although since it's electronic, you'll probably want to still be careful.
Best Adafruit NeoPixels Devices - Final Thoughts
If you're looking to deck out a project with individually-addressable LED lights, NeoPixels are a great choice. Offering compatibility with most microcontrollers including Adruino MCUs, FeatherWing boards, Circuit Playground devices, and more, NeoPixels provide plug-and-play ease of use. They're affordable and the LEDs are bright as well as attractive. Luckily, you'll find tons of different options ranging from through-hole LEDs to matrices and light strips. As such, you can find NeoPixels devices for virtually every scenario imaginable.
Your turn: What are you building with NeoPixels lighting options?