WS2812B, commonly known as Neopixels are super bright individually controllable LEDs that come in many shapes and sizes.
Neopixel Christmas lights! pic.twitter.com/Rdyx47I8HI— biglesp (@biglesp) December 10, 2016
I have neopixel rings in various sizes, 1/2/5 metre lengths, individual pixels and even a face made of them!
Normally I control them using a Raspberry Pi, Arduino, micro:bit or other controllers but I recently purchased a bespoke controller with a remote control from eBay for only $4.69 and it comes with a series of animations and colour selections that can be altered to suit your needs. From the remote I can control the brightness and speed of the animated light sequences, and turn the lights on and off. I tested the range and I can control my lights from around 100 yards away. Not bad!
I also purchased two short 1 metre lengths from eBay for around £5 each.
Using their combined power I made...
Using the controller, the two 1 metre lengths joined together and a 5V 3A power supply (from my Slice video player) I created The Northern Lights
My neightbours love me...
I also got some of these WS2812B Christmas lights, which I'll be hacking with an Arduino Pro Mini that I got from eBay, there are loads for under $3!
If you want to hack Neopixels....
The best references for Neopixels can be found at Adafruit
Project Idea: Twitter Controlled Christmas Lights (IoTree)
I wrote a project in 2015 for Element14 which involved controlling WS2812B using a Raspberry Pi and Twitter :)
By the way, you can skip the logic level stuff in the project. You can control the pixels directly from the Pi :)
Project Idea: Build a massive clone of SIMON, the 80s memory game!
I built this while working as "Maker In Residence" at CPC early in 2016 as a simple game to draw crowds to our stall at Maker Faire UK....It worked really well!
All of the code, instructions and the kit you need can be found here