A quick guide to open source LED software.
By the end of this article, you will be able to connect your LED device to your WiFi and control it from your phone or computer.
The Basics 💁
This picture shows a simple wireless LED setup. All software components are free and open source. Let’s have a look at the different components:
LEDs are controlled by a micro-controller. They can come in many shapes, including long strips, or panels like the LedFx Spotlight, or in custom designs like the LedFx HyperCube.
This is the brains of the operation! WLED is a microcontroller responsible for powering and controlling the LED strip. It also connects to your WiFi, so that you can control it via your phone or computer. This offers a rich user interface to control an incredible variety of LED effects and colors.
For more information on what this powerful little controller can do, check out the WLED project
LedFx listens to music on your computer and sends LED data to WLED over your WiFi. It can control several WLED devices simultaneously, creating stunning synchronized musical effects.
If you want music reactive LEDs, LedFx is the way to go!
Powering Up! ⚡
All purchases from the LedFx Store require a good USB power supply, able to supply at least 1A at 5V.
Most phone chargers and portable power banks can supply this, but it is worth checking to be sure! Have a look on the power supply for something like “5V, 1A” or “5V, 1000mA”
As long as the power supply can give at least 1A at 5V, you’re good to go!
If you want your LEDs to shine their brightest, adjust the current limit in WLED settings to reflect the power supply’s maximum current. You’ll see it defaulted to 850mA, but you can increase this up to 3000mA if your power supply can provide that.
I would not recommend plugging your LEDs directly into a computer USB socket, as the LEDs might draw more power than your computer can safely provide.
Connecting to WiFi 📡
Power up your LedFx Store Device by simply plugging it in. It will automatically turn on and broadcast a WiFi network for you to connect to.
Use your phone or computer to connect to the WiFi network WLED_AP with password wled1234. Alternatively, scan the QR code to the left.
Once you’re connected, you should see the “Welcome to WLED” page. You could also navigate to 126.96.36.199 in your browser to access this page.
You can add your home WiFi SSID and password, then “Save & Connect” to apply. Be aware that the SSID and password are both case sensitive.
Your WLED device will restart and connect to your WiFi network. If you mistyped your WiFi settings, or the device cannot connect to your WiFi, you will see the WLED_AP network appear again to allow you to reconfigure.
Using WLED 💡
Once your LedFX Store device has connected to WiFi, you can access its controls from your phone or computer.
Install the WLED app (iOS/Android) to automatically discover your LEDs on your network. You will find this in your phone’s app store.
Alternatively, check your router’s connected devices list, and navigate directly in a browser to the WLED’s IP address.
You will be greeted with a simple interface that allows you to choose colors, effects, palettes, and much more! WLED is an amazingly flexible piece of software with a fantastic community of LED enthusiasts and hobbyists. It has a variety of additional features:
– Customize and save your favorite colors and effects
– Connect to Hue and Alexa
– Night/Wake light functionality
Audio Reactive with LedFx 🎵
LedFx is a program that will listen to music on your computer and stream live musical LED effects to your WLED device.
To get the party started, see the quickstart guide!
Need Help? 🙋♂️
No problem! If you bought a product through the LedFx Store, get in touch with a message on Etsy.
For questions related to LedFx, the documentation is a good resource to check.
You could also join the Discord, where other members of the community will be able to help you out.