I'm quite new to these things and I need some help. I'm building a computer shelf with plexiglass and RGB LEDs (one per length) and I need some help to sketch up a data sheet of some sort for this.

I'm thinking of using an Arduino Uno, but will it be able to run 12+ LEDs?

  • 1
    A key piece of information is how many is "12+ leds"? Is it 13, 14, 100? Without that it is quite hard to give advice? What do you want to do that a cheap, off-the-shelf, RGB LED controller can't do?
    – gbulmer
    Nov 26, 2015 at 18:59
  • Well basicly what I'm hoping for is to control two shelves with led which then means 12x2. As mentioned I'm very inexperienced with this so I though it would be the better solution to use a arduino. Do you have any other recommendations instead?
    – Henrik
    Nov 26, 2015 at 19:15
  • Just get some rgb-led-strips. Connect them to and Arduino using some mosfets.
    – Gerben
    Nov 27, 2015 at 15:12
  • 1
    If all you want is some lighting effects, then I'd suggest some LED strips with controller and remote control from one of the well-known e-stores. You can get a power-supply, remote control and RGB LEDs at a reasonable cost. For 24 LEDs, you'll need a separate power supply anyway; the Arduino isn't enough. If what you want to do is learn about Arduino, I'd recommend jwpat7's advice. Try to get some Ws2812b RGB LEDs on a strip, and a power supply, and experiment with Adafruit's NeoPixel library
    – gbulmer
    Nov 27, 2015 at 17:36
  • @Green, imho, there are millions of projects/tutorials on this, which are often much more detailed.
    – aaa
    Sep 19, 2016 at 7:01

1 Answer 1


If your RGB LEDs are WS2812-style, 5050-size units, it is no problem to control dozens of them using an Arduino Uno or several other models of Arduinos. [For ATtiny systems, other libraries than Adafruit's NeoPixel may be needed; the NeoPixel library keeps several bytes of state data per pixel, which some other libs don't.]

WS2812-style LEDs typically are arranged in serial strings, driven by a single IO pin from an Arduino.

If you have more than half a dozen WS2812s in the string, power for them should come from an external power supply, rather than via an Arduino's built-in 5V regulator.

For more information, see related questions like Arduino with WS2812 using Adafruit NeoPixel library fade in/out different patterns, and Arduino and WS2812 RGB LED Strip "freezing", and fading colors on a ws2812 strip; also see Google search Arduino Stackexchange for WS2812.

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