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RGBW single pixel assemblies
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

RGBW single pixel assemblies

by pbuelow on Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:55 am

Hello, I'm working to automate my wife's Department 56 Christmas House display. We've got about ~15 houses we put out every year, and they all use a 3-6 watt incandescent bulb which must be switched on and off manually. I want to create a small PCB that replaces the incandescent with 2-4 RGBW pixels I can drive from my own controller to turn them on/off at preset times (sunrise/sunset) and make them more lifelike. I've already created a complete solution with the 8MM LED's, and it works well enough. It's a 1.3 inch round design that neatly fits where the bulb assembly does. I use a bit of silicon to stick it on the house. My problem is, the 8MM LEDS are way too blue, and when you modify the colours to be a more warm white, they end up being dimmer than I would like, even with 2 on each board. They also stick up far enough you can see them through the windows, which is less than optimal. What I would like to do is to replace the 2 8MM with 2-4 of the breadboard friendly (button maybe?) or any easy to add to a design led assembly. I did a PCB which can use the Jewel (warm white RGBW version) which worked well enough. That said, the Jewel is not very friendly for PCB design, and 7 LED's is overkill, so I end up idling 4 or 5 of them all of the time which is a waste. Adafruit (or anyone honestly) don't seem to sell the RGBW in single easy to solder packages that I can find.

Is there any LED design that anyone knows about that would meet my needs? Does Adafruit have a plan to create single RGBW designs like the breadboard or button they sell as RGB? I'm planning for 2021 right now, so anything that would be done before mid next year would work fine. My controller uses the Adafruit Neopixel library, so making sure I can continue to use that would be beneficial.

I'm going to try to make a test PCB which will use the 5050 RGBW singles to see how hard that would be to build by hand. I'm not good at surface mount soldering. Plus, that's a lot of LED's to solder.

This is my current assembly, which does what I want it to do and will be the design of choice for this year.

https://oshpark.com/profiles/peter_buelow

pbuelow
 
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Re: RGBW single pixel assemblies

by Disciple on Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:08 pm

Just a thought. You could by a strip and cut it into 2-4 pixel segments. I've repurposed ends and scraps from my strips and met with success. Hope this helps.

Hallelujah!
Disciple

Disciple
 
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Re: RGBW single pixel assemblies

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:27 pm

Does Adafruit have a plan to create single RGBW designs like the breadboard or button they sell as RGB?

Thanks for the suggestion. I will forward that to the products team.

adafruit_support_bill
 
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Re: RGBW single pixel assemblies

by pbuelow on Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:46 pm

@Disciple, that thought had crossed my mind, but it's still a bit of effort, and not in a form that fits nicely in a 1" circle. I do have the 144 pixel strips, but three pixels in this case take all the space. The point of the PCB is that it's neat and tidy.

pbuelow
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:43 pm

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.