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09.00 - Introduction

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RGB LEDs are everywhere. From cell phones to huge building sized displays, RGBs power the digital world. Since RGB LEDs use three colors, red, green, and blue, they can produce nearly infinite colors. Some RGB LEDs are small through hole components and others are large assemblies of LEDs, often referred to as pixels. The color of RGB LEDs is controlled by the amount of current that is sent to each of the colors. By varying the amount supplied the color changes. A special type of RGB LED is called an addressable LED. These LEDs have a controller chip that accepts data. This allows each LED to be controlled individually and allows for limitless creativity.

Learning Objectives

  • Wire a through hole RGB LED to a breadboard
  • Set RGB LED to a specific color
  • Use a function to cycle through all colors
  • Wire addressable LEDs to a power supply and an Arduino
  • Control individually addressable LEDs in a creative pattern


  • RGB
  • Mosfet
  • Transistor
  • Buck Converter
  • Addressable LED
  • Signal
  • Clock
  • Protocol
  • Cathode (-)
  • Anode (+)
  • LED Pixel