Typical NeoPixels have LEDs which each have three colours: red, green, and blue. RGBW NeoPixels have four LEDs per pixel: red, green, blue, and white. Why add an extra white LED? Can’t we make white just by mixing red, green, and blue?
Since “white” isn’t a colour by itself, but a mixture of light at different frequencies there is more than one way to make “white”. The white produced by mixing 100% red, green, and blue is often looks very artificial (like fluorescent lights in a late night convenience shop).
The RGBW led strips we have in class have red, green, blue, and “warm” white LEDs (four colour channels). The warm white LED has a “warmer” tone that is closer to the yellow light produced by a candle. By using just the warm white LED we can make a comfortable yellow/white colour. If we want a “cooler” white we could use the warm white LED and mix in some blue or the cold white produced by using equal values of RGB. We can also take a totally saturated colour like pure blue and add some warm white to make it more washed out / pastel / desaturated. Let’s give it a try!
JST-PH 3-pin connector that matches the NeoPixel port on the Prop-Maker FeatherWing
Female jumper cable (not included with kit – available in IM Lab parts)
Try making your own changes to the code, and experiment with creating different feelings with your light! Can you make the light cozy / relaxed just using RGB? What happens when you add different amounts of W? What colours are more stimulating? What colours are easier to read by?
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