I’ve been wanting to tinker with RGB LED matrix for a while, and finally was able to do so earlier this month. It was fun programming some effects, game of life etc. on a 8×8 matrix using Arduino. Here is a Christmas ornament that I programmed. It shows a color changing star followed by scrolling text featuring Christmas related phrases.
The colors appear diffused in the video, but they are much more vivid in reality. I need to learn how to use my camera properly lol.
No custom circuitry is required. I ordered a color shield and couple of 8×8 matrix LEDs from China (ebay) and got this to work. Here is the parts list:
RGB LED 8*8 Matrix Driver Colors Shield For Arduino – $16.50
Matrix 8×8 RGB LED Full Color Dot Square Display 60x60mm Common Anode Arduino – $3.84
Arduino Uno – I had this already.
Total cost – $20.34
Here is the sketch: https://github.com/rmadhuram/ChristmasScroller
I ran into one limit when I tried to add more phrases. If I added more than 4, it kept crashing and random LEDs would light up. I then figured there was a 2K data limit on the character strings you could have in your sketch for Uno!
Wish you all a merry Christmas!