(Not affiliated in any way except being a very happy customer)
Currently running the Christmas lights from one of these, and I've had another one banging around for a couple of years running a LED strip that goes around the kids' bicycle trailer, surviving frost and rain and salt spray, just powered off a USB powerbank.
(I guess I'm not sure what you mean by "large scale" -- but WLED/ESP32 doesn't really tick the large box for me)
Sure, you can only run about 2,000 pixels off a single ESP32 running WLED, but there’s no reason you can’t run a bunch of them. I have seven ESP32s driving just shy of 10k pixels myself and I’d personally consider that a large display. I dunno about you, but 3,300 watts of light is definitely not “small scale”.
Something like a f16v4 can run 33k pixels. But maybe you want more points of control remotely distributed?
What are you using for the rest? Another controller or at they static? My ~10k is all individually addressable ws28xx lights (mostly 5V LEDs, but I buck convert immediately before the strips and run back at 24V.
I’ve definitely seen way bigger than both of our setups,
A tip for anyone that's interested, you can order a compatible LED strip from Ali Express for much cheaper than Amazon, though you're going to wait several weeks. For example, do a search for WS2815 LED Strips and compare.
BTW, if you're doing just single color check out COB LED strips, they're pretty cool with the uniform lighting over the strip. Get them in 24v to avoid voltage drop.
LED Strips are lots of fun to play with and pretty easy to chop up, power and control.
I got started down the rabbit hole when I saw ads for permanent light fixtures for housing. The idea is you install the lights once and then you can use the color changing ability to create appropriate displays for different holidays throughout the year.
I love WLED so hard.
Does somebody have an idea whether "real-time" music <-> light sync is feasible with WLED? I plan to have the audio processing happening outside the ESP32, but then I'm still concerned about the bandwidth requirements (driving ~300 NeoPixels), because ideally I don't want to just trigger "discrete" effects but retain full control. I just wonder whether WLED puts any significant overhead in there that I wouldn't run into with something hand-rolled...
Or if you wanted to externalise it completely - it supports DDP/E1.31 -- you could generate the required effect externally - and just send the commands over the network. That should do 40 updates per second for 300 pixels. Ideally send it over ethernet - but you could probably pull it off over a good wifi network.
The amount of both features and general professionalism in the interface is really incredible for an ESP-based project.
I’d highly recommend Pixelblaze for getting a fairly complex setup working quickly.
Seems like a super cool project though! The effects look really cool and more “organic” than the WLED effects (to me at least), but I think I’ll just need to live vicariously through YouTubers on this one haha
You still have to be able to hook up few wires and you'll need to be able to power your LEDs and understand your power needs there, but the live compilation in web based development platform (that's served by the device, no cloud) makes it really ideal for rapid prototyping and getting up and running quickly. No fussing with Arduino IDE or compile times. It's one of those things that "just works".
If you want to see it in action:
After a way too long time, I am thrilled to finally share the new official beta, 0.14.0-b1, with you, just in time for Christmas! https://install.wled.me/
Don't let yourself be fooled by the beta moniker, this version offers so much more than 0.13
0.14 is such a huge step forward in comparison to 0.13 that there are way too many epic new features and improvements to even start listing here. The two most major additions are native support for 2D matrix panels and effects as well as audio reactivity via usermod!
A huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who contributed to the project in the last year, especially @blazoncek , @softhack007 , @ewowi and the WLED-SR fork team, who together have contributed, if I had to approximate, 90% of the new 0.14 code!
It's great that this is on HN, I otherwise wouldn't have known about it. Looks like it can take care of the lighting control, and then I can worry about exposing a Rainmaker interface.
WLED Arduino WiFi LED Controller - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29970819 - Jan 2022 (20 comments)
This project totally made my Christmas
I could spend ages playing with the settings and mixing the right colours & speeds...
Setting the 2 to sync with each other or do their own thing is sooo easy, even my mother in law enjoyed controlling it.
Even a wee 24 rgb LED ring can have cool effects with this superb software
Twitter thread with some background:
I’ve done dozens of WLED projects now for myself and clients, and it never ceases to amaze me the cool stuff people come up with.
This was 6 strings (Only 5 visible), a D1 esp 8266 running wled and a 12v power supply. Worked quite well.
Anyone know of such a thing?
Lots of WLED people (myself included) run with pretty beefy dedicated 5V supplies and use decently heavy gauge wire to connect to the strips.
I'd recommend going the other way around. Connect to the ESP wirelessly and use a beefy dedicated supply to power both it and the LEDs.
A larger under the roof eaves display would be pretty cool though- will have to carefully look at the power for that if I ever do it.
If you want some solid information, Quindor has you covered: https://quinled.info/2018/10/01/tools-and-equipment/
I can wire it up and program it but goodness knows how I actually affix it to my Pololu Romi.
They're hard to program because each one seems to have a different opinion whether this or that GPIO needs to be grounded to start programming mode.
They also can be poorly manufactured. Either the antenna is so bad it works on your desk but not in the next room, or it's just DOA. Fortunately, these are neonatal problems; if it works for 5 minutes, it'll work forever. And when you can get 10 for $15 and toss the three that don't work, it's still a great deal.
Running one WLED device is much simpler than Zigbee. If you run more than one, they use UDP to sync over your Wi-Fi. If you have decent Wi-Fi, this will be much easier to set up than Zigbee; if we are talking a more industrial installation, it may not be a good fit.
ad zigbee - I already have some devices and I strictly wanted to have a complete different network for these. wifi is not an option (for me, at this moment). Just looked up their website, they make an esp32-c6 (risc-v core, wifi+bt+zb), and esp32-h2 (the same but has no wifi).
I’ve had several dozen of them running some in vehicles, outside lightly shielded, in a basement, and on my desk. Some are running right off an 18650 with no boost/buck converter. No failures in several years , across low-end cheapest 8266 breakouts and 32s.
His videos and blog posts are super helpful too!
It's an all in one with WLED on it. You just need a strip, some wire and a power supply.
Happily using this little guy to drive 100 fairy lights (from Adafruit), all from a USB plug.