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Blinkm: Arduino Programmable Leds Let You Control the Pretty Colors

by Paul Strauss

Want to do something creative with color-changing LEDs? This new programmable LED module might be just what the doctor ordered.


The BlinkM from ThingM (I just love saying that) is a compact module that contains an ultra-bright RGB LED and a microcontroller that you can program from your computer.


You’ll need an Arduino I/O board to program your BlinkM, plus a 5-volt power supply to juice ’em up. The ThingM guys have alread created a handy drum-machine-like sequencer application for Macs and PCs so you can easily program each one to any color, or to a color sequence of your choosing. There’s full 24-bit color control, and you can program up to 49 commands in sequence. And with a single two-wire network, you can connect up to 127 BlinkMs together to do you bidding. There are even 18 built-in light sequences, so even if you’re not that creative, you might already have one that does what you want.


There’s also source code available for you to do custom-programming to your heart’s content. Here’s a video of a couple of cool lighting effects ThinkM’s Tod Kurt put together using a bunch of BlinkMs:

BlinkM LED modules are available now over at the Adafruit store for $13 (USD) a piece. What’s the most creative thing you would do if you had a bunch of these modules? Me, I’d build an ultra-low res television.

[via Adafruit Blog]

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