My favorite product, as the title implies, would have to be the WS2812 LED strips. Now, before you poke fun at my choice, let’s take a look at what these LEDs can do:
They come in a 1 meter strip of 30 RGB LEDs that are encased in a weatherproof sheath. Weatherproof! This feature alone opens up a ton of project possibilities. We blew away passersby last year during the holiday season with our decorations by including some of these strips. While everyone else was stringing up their barely-bright string lights, we were unleashing a level of luminosity that seared retinas and left the imprint of Christmas burned into the jealous minds of our neighbors. Seriously, we probably caught the attention of people on commercial flights flying over our town. Here is a little video clip of our tree from last year (apologies for the quality):
Each LED element is individually addressable with 24-bit color. This is definitely a handy feature! Have you ever had the urge to represent your favorite football team by blasting your visiting friends with a display of gorgeous team colors? Well, with these LEDs you can show off your team spirit and become that obnoxiously excited 12th man everyone longs to be. We made a cardboard cutout of a giant 12 and laced the LED strips behind it with the intent to have a microcontroller respond to an IFTTT whenever the Seahawks scored a touchdown, making the LEDs flash for a specified amount of time.
Now, to give you a feel for what you can accomplish with these LED strips, check out Brandon Marcum’s LED display. It is a thing of beauty.
I really like to incorporate LEDs into my projects any time it’s possible, and with the WS2812 LED strip, you are pretty much guaranteed to turn heads!