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Let's assume I want to make an asterisk (*) out of LED strips. I want to control each leg individually, while still being connected to only one GPIO pin. The layout I had in mind, looks like this:

Since it's an LED strip with individually addressable LEDs, I can't just supply 5V, GND, and DATA to the middle and expect it to work (I highly assume).

If I want to do this, I assume I need to keep running them in "series", basically meaning I hook up one of the strips to the Arduino, then at the end of the strip I run a long wire to the start of one of the others and then repeat. Something like this:

but only for the data wire, as I can simply power all of them in the middle. If not, how can I do this? What happens if I hook up 5 strips' DATA to a single GPIO pin on the Arduino? Are all 5 strips shared then, so each strip's first LED is also the first I would turn on?

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The LEDs are "addressed" in series; if you address the first LED then you address all connected first LEDs. So yes, you must connect the Data Out of the previous LED/strip to the Data In of the next in order to address all of them individually.

  • Right, so the second image I put in is basically what I have to do? – MortenMoulder Dec 10 '17 at 23:54
  • Or you can flip every other strip in order to have the shortest data paths. Just keep in mind the direction of each strip if you do. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Dec 10 '17 at 23:55
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    Right, so something like this? i.imgur.com/MusZ8Hc.png – MortenMoulder Dec 11 '17 at 0:00
  • @MortenMoulder: Correct. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Dec 11 '17 at 0:01
  • Awesome, thanks a lot for the confirmation :-) – MortenMoulder Dec 11 '17 at 0:02

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