03 Nov 2016 on web and iot

Web control panel for Neopixel

Connecting a Neopixel LED ring to the web browser for various displays

Recently, I fell in love with the simple RGB LED 💡

I love connecting physical things and displaying them on a web browser! So I thought of getting the Neopixel ring and displaying different colored lights and patterns through the control of the web interface. Here are some steps to make that...

What we need

  1. 60 LED Neopixel ring + USB cable
  2. Arduino + USB cable for power
  3. Jumper wires
  4. 470Ω resistor
  5. 1000uF capacitor

Assemble the Neopixel Ring

  1. Get the 60 LED Neopixel ring as 4 pieces of 15-pixel quarters Neopixel quarters before soldering
  2. Refer to the detailed Adafruit's guide on Neopixel
  3. Solder 3 out of the 4 joints from GND to GND, DIN to DOUT, 5V to 5V Solder joints
  4. Solder GND, DIN and 5V to 3 wires at the 4th (last) joint Last solder joint
  5. Create a USB cable with 2 wires sticking out at the other end by striping of the wires at the end. This will provide +5V DC from a power supply to the Neopixel. USB cable with stripped wires
  6. Wire up with an Arduino's digital pin PIN 6, 470Ω resistor and 1000uF capacitor. Schematic of Arduino, Neopixel and 5V DC power supply Source: Adafruit Neopixel Uberguide - basic connectors Actual photo of the wirings

Blinky with Arduino

  • Open up the Arduino IDE
  • Install Adafruit's Neopixel library from Sketch > Include Library > Manage Library Install the Arduino Neopixel package
  • Create new neopixel project with neopixel.ino file
  • Write some code to blink the LED10 and LED11 every 1 second in red color
  #include <Adafruit_NeoPixel.h>

  #define PIN 6 // Arduino's PIN 6
  #define N_LEDS 60 // 60 pixel

  Adafruit_NeoPixel strip = Adafruit_NeoPixel(N_LEDS, PIN, NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800);

  void setup() {

  void loop() {
    // LED ON in red
    strip.setPixelColor(10, strip.Color(255, 0, 0));
    strip.setPixelColor(11, strip.Color(255, 0, 0));

    // LED OFF
    strip.setPixelColor(10, 0);
    strip.setPixelColor(11, 0);

  • Compile and upload to see the red led blinking every 1 second! 2 LEDs with red blinky

Control via the Web

Instead of using Arduino code, we will now flash firmata to the Arduino so that Johnny-Five JavaScript framework can talk to the Arduino. Using the same JavaScript code, we can also insert the code for a web server and serve an html page to control the LED light patterns.

  npm i express johnny-five node-pixel nodebots-interchange
  • Ensure the Arduino is connected to your computer
  • Flash the firmata to the Arduino using interchange
  interchange install git+https://github.com/ajfisher/node-pixel -a uno --firmata
  • Create a node.js file index.js
  var five = require('johnny-five')
  var pixel = require('node-pixel')
  var express = require('express')
  var app = express()
  var board = new five.Board({
    port: process.argv[2] || ''
  var strip = null
  var blinker


  var server = app.listen(3000, function () {
    console.log(`Example app listening at http://localhost:${server.address().port}`)

  board.on('ready', function() {
    strip = new pixel.Strip({
      data: 6,
      length: 60,
      color_order: pixel.COLOR_ORDER.GRB,
      board: this,
      controller: 'FIRMATA',

    strip.on('ready', function() {

      // add routes for different LED patterns
      // extend to add http routes...
  • Extend index.js to add http routes for various LED controls
  app.get('/red', function(req, res) {

  app.get('/green', function(req, res) {

  app.get('/blue', function(req, res) {

  app.get('/clear', function(req, res) {

  app.get('/panel', function(req, res) {
    var colors = ['red', 'green', 'blue', "yellow", "cyan", "magenta", "white"]
    var current_colors = 0

    blinker = setInterval(function() {
      if (++current_colors >= colors.length) current_colors = 0
    }, 1000)


  app.get('/breathe', function(req, res) {
    var color = 0
    var rising = true
    var max = 50
    var min = 0

    blinker = setInterval(function() {
      if (rising) {
        if (color >= max) {
          rising = false
          color = max
      } else {
        if (color <= min) {
          rising = true
          color = min

      strip.color('rgba(' + color + ',' + color + ',' + color + ')')
    }, 20)

  • Add index.html in the same folder as index.js
    <li><a href="/red">red</a></li>
    <li><a href="/green">green</a></li>
    <li><a href="/blue">blue</a></li>
    <li><a href="/clear">clear</a></li>
    <li><a href="/panel">panel</a></li>
    <li><a href="/breathe">breathe</a></li>
  • Plug in the Arduino to the laptop, plug in the neopixel to USB power and start the node server
  node index
  • Visit the browser at localhost:3000 Web browser with hyperlinks
  • Click the web controls and see the colors and patterns on the LED Neopixel ring with various colors

This is just the simplest example case to get started with the Neopixel ring, but the combinations and patterns can be limitless!

comments powered by Disqus