WS2812 Addressable LEDs: Raspberry Pi Quick-start Guide    Send article as PDF   

This tutorial is aimed at getting some instant gratification from your WS2812 LEDs (trade name: neopixels). I’ll briefly cover a bare-bones setup for Raspberry Pi.

If you’ve never used a Raspberry Pi before, we’ve got you covered with our free, online Raspberry Pi How-To’s.Here’s the wiring used in the video (click for hi-res):

WS2812 Addressable LEDs with Raspberry Pi

First, install the Python support for WS2812B LEDs:

navigate to the examples directory

And that should be all there is to it! Your LEDs should be running the same pattern you see in the video.

Troubleshooting: If your LEDs only flicker erratically instead of performing a nice demo we need to make some edits to /boot/config.txt, execute:

and either uncomment or add the following lines:

save, reboot, and reattempt to run as above.

As always, if you have any troubles then reach out to us in the comments section below. I will do my best to help!


The one-line install command is just a simple script that automates the commands listed in Adafruit’s tutorial. Follow the link if you want to see what’s happening behind the scenes. To see the contents of the script before you run it, save it to a file with:

Adafruit Neopixel Uberguide

Jeremy Garff’s Github Repository – Issue #103

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One Response to WS2812 Addressable LEDs: Raspberry Pi Quick-start Guide

  1. Nick says:

    I have a 144 LED strip and can’t get it to work. Either it flickers very slightly or all the LEDs come on white and blind me! I changed the code variable LED_COUNT from 30 to 144 but no joy. Do I need to change something else, perhaps DMA ?

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