APA102 Addressable LED Hookup Guide

Contributors: bboyho
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Resources and Going Further


Try writing some additional code and adding more features in order to change the brightness or mode with the APA102 using a potentiometer or button. Or try adding a sensor to trigger animations based on sound to react to the beat of a track!

Trimpot 10K Ohm with Knob

Trimpot 10K Ohm with Knob

SparkFun Sound Detector (with Headers)

SparkFun Sound Detector (with Headers)

Multicolor Buttons - 4-pack

Multicolor Buttons - 4-pack

SparkFun Capacitive Touch Slider - CAP1203 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Capacitive Touch Slider - CAP1203 (Qwiic)


Depending on the design, there are some shields for the Teensy that breakout pins for the APA102. Just make sure to check the wiring to ensure that it matches the connection for the LED strips.

Teensy Prop Shield

1 Retired

SmartLED Shield V4 for Teensy 3

Teensy Prop Shield LC

Teensy Prop Shield LC


For more information about the APA102, check out the resources below:

Now that you've got the gist of the APA102's, how are you going to use it in a project? Need some inspiration? Check out these tutorials for ideas to diffuse or daisy chain longer strips:

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SparkFun ESP32 DMX to LED Shield

Learn how to utilize your DMX to LED Shield in a variety of different ways.

Or check out some of these blog posts for ideas: