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?

1 Answer 1


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? Commented Dec 10, 2017 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. Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 23:55
  • 1
    Right, so something like this? i.imgur.com/MusZ8Hc.png Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 0:00
  • @MortenMoulder: Correct. Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 0:01
  • Awesome, thanks a lot for the confirmation :-) Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 0:02

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