Pixel Lights


Smart modular light panels that can act as a low resolution display when many are combined. Lights will have near infinite patterns and applications. Lights can easily be controlled with either smartphone or smart home.

Hardware List:

  • 400 NeoPixel LEDs (Already Owned)
  • ESP8266 (Already Owned)
  • Custom PCB (Designing)
  • 400 4 Pin Female Right Angle header (Already Owned)
  • Resistors and Capacitors (Already Owned)
  • 3D printed cover for Panels (Designing)
  • 3D printed cover for ESP8266 (Designing)
  • Power Source (Already Owned)


  • Week 1
    • Design and test PCB
      • Make breadboard circuit to test scalability and power/digital signal
      • Design board in Eagle
      • Order PCB
  • Week 2
    • Design panel cover
      • Sketch design ideas
      • Implement best designs in solidworks
    • Design ESP8266 Cover
      • Sketch design ideas with respect to usability
      • Implement best designs in solidworks
  • Week 3
    • Print panel cover and ESP8266 Cover
      • Make sure they are up to quality standard
    • Test fit panels and cover
      • Revise as nessary
  • Week 4
    • Integrate ESP8266 and app integration
    • Make basic programs to show capability
    • Test lights and app
  • Week 5
    • Iron out bugs
    • Continue adding more features
    • Add Alexa/Google home support
  • Week 6
    • Make presentation and work out any imperfections

Hardware List Interaction:

  • NeoPixel LEDs
    • These are controlled as an I2C device through a digital output from the ESP8266
    • I will likely use the FastLED library or the Neopixel library depending on which is best for my needs
    • I've done a test using through hole WS2812b and was able to get them to work with custom written programs using the FastLED library.
  • Custom PCB (Designing)
    • The PCB will have 4 pins as input and output they will be GND, 5V, Digital In, and Digital out. Digital in will initially be sent from the Arduino, but the tiles will send the message from one to the other via the Digital out. GND and 5V won't be from the Arduino.

Completed List 4/23

  • PCBs have been designed and ordered
    • Using eagle
  • PCBs have arrived
  • Plexiglass covers have been designed and ordered
  • PCBs have been tested and work as expected
    • Was able to get light working
  • Tried

Yet to Complete List 4/23

  • Assemble all PCBs
    • Will take five hours to assemble all of them
  • Assemble covers
    • Will take around 2 hours
  • Index the light
    • Will take around 1 hour
  • Connect to Blynk
    • Will take around 30 minutes

Road Blocks

  • It took me a bit more time to design and order the PCBs than anticipated.
  • I won't be able to assemble the majority of the PCBs for a while.
  • I shorted my four prototype boards.
IMG_0484 (3).mp4