Lumenati Hookup Guide

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Contributors: Pete-O
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Introduction

The Lumenati line of LED boards is designed to give your projects an edge in their lighting capacity. Based on the APA102C addressable LED, these LEDs employ a 2-wire communication protocol consisting of a clock line and a data line. While this requires one more wire than standard WS2812B addressable LEDs, the advantage is that the communication with the LEDs becomes somewhat timing independent, allowing you to run these directly off of a Raspberry Pi or other single-board computer that doesn’t normally allow for a long, precicely-timed data stream without the use of additional hardware.

SparkFun Lumenati 8-stick

COM-14359
$6.95
SparkFun Lumenati 8-pack

COM-14357
$6.95
SparkFun Lumenati 90R

COM-14358
$3.95
SparkFun Lumenati 4-pack

COM-14353
$3.95
SparkFun Lumenati 3x3

COM-14360
$5.95
SparkFun Lumenati 90L

COM-14452
$3.95

Required Materials

To get started, you’re going to need a control system. Either a Raspberry Pi or Arduino will suffice for our examples, but really anything that has GPIO can be made to work.

SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

DEV-13975
$19.95
27
Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz

DEV-11113
$9.95
125
Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 3.3V/8MHz

DEV-11114
$9.95
43
Raspberry Pi 3

DEV-13825
$39.95
90
SparkFun SAMD21 Mini Breakout

DEV-13664
$19.95
13
Raspberry Pi Zero W

DEV-14277
$10.00
15

The APA102C addressable LEDs on the Lumenati boards operate natively with 5V logic, so it will save you trouble to choose a controller that can give you 0-5V, but it can be made to work with 3.3V logic with the use of a level translator.

SparkFun Logic Level Converter - Bi-Directional

BOB-12009
$2.95
85
SparkFun Level Translator Breakout - PCA9306

BOB-11955
$6.95
2

You will also need a power 5V power supply to run your controller and new lights. Each APA102C can draw as much as 60mA when red, green and blue are all full-on, so you’ll want to have something a little beefy. We’ve chosen a wall adapter capable of 2.5A, which should be plenty for our demonstration. But if you’ve got a bigger project in mind, check out the Mean Well 5V/20A supply.

Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5.1V DC 2.5A (USB Micro-B)

TOL-13831
$7.95
14
Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5V DC 2A (Barrel Jack)

TOL-12889
$5.95
15
Mean Well Switching Power Supply - 5VDC, 20A

TOL-14098
$25.95

Tools

Lastly, you are going to need a few tools. A soldering iron, some solder, wire and a wire stripper should do. Maybe also some tweezers if you’re not comfy with having your fingers close to the tip of a soldering iron.

Hook-Up Wire - Assortment (Stranded, 22 AWG)

PRT-11375
$16.95
16
Tweezers - Straight (ESD Safe)

TOL-10603
$3.95
2
Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

TOL-09325
$7.95
7
Wire Strippers - 30AWG (Hakko)

TOL-12630
$9.95
3
Soldering Iron - 30W (EU, 230VAC)

TOL-11650
$9.95
1

Suggested Reading

We’re tried to make this hookup guide as simple as possible, but you may be lacking some basic information that could help your understanding as we go forward. For more info, check out these tutorials…

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

Installing an Arduino Library

How do I install a custom Arduino library? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino library using the Arduino Library Manager. For libraries not linked with the Arduino IDE, we will also go over manually installing an Arduino library.

Logic Levels

Learn the difference between 3.3V and 5V devices and logic levels.

How to Solder - Castellated Mounting Holes

Tutorial showing how to solder castellated holes (or castellations). This might come in handy if you need to solder a module or PCB to another PCB. These castellations are becoming popular with integrated WiFi and Bluetooth modules.

Raspberry Pi SPI and I2C Tutorial

How to use the serial buses on your Raspberry Pi.