Addressable LEDs — the ones with a tiny microcontroller built into them, so you can connect a bunch with a single data wire and yet still control each one individually — are common enough these days; they’re often sold in strip form, a few metres of flexible strip already soldered up, with just 3 wires needed to power and control ’em. Mostly they come in 5050 size – 5mm square, like the ones on the left here, but I’ve found smaller ones, 3535, 3.5mm square like the ones on the right:
The smaller they are, the more densely you can pack them, for smoother light effects, and you can obviously squeeze them into smaller spaces, opening up new possibilities for blinky light projects.
I’ve never seen them this small before, though. Postman dropped off a present from AliExpress this morning: 2020 size, 2mm square. They’re minute:
Like, tiny. Almost can’t believe they can pack a controller and 3 LED dice (red, green and blue) into each one. Penny for scale:
The strip itself is only 4mm wide:
And they’re incredibly bright, if you can give them enough power. This is them at around 4% brightness (otherwise it blows out the camera):
I’ve got a metre length of it, 200 controllable RGB lights on a fine strip… now I just need a project to use them for