Led category

Add OLED Display To Your Projects With TeensyView

The Teensy is a complete USB-based microcontroller development system, in a very small footprint, capable of implementing many types of projects. All programming is done via the USB port. You can program for the Teensy in your favorite program editor using C or you can install the Teensyduino add-on for the Arduino IDE and write Arduino sketches for Teensy.

The processor on the Teensy also has access to the USB and can emulate any kind of USB device you need it to be, making it great for USB-MIDI and other HID projects. The 32 bit processor brings a few other features to the table as well, such as multiple channels of Direct Memory Access, several high-resolution ADCs and even an I2S digital audio interface! you can learn more about Teensy by visiting this page.

SparkFun had launched a new add-on to Teensy that can make it possible to add to it display functions. The SparkFun TeensyView brings you an easy way to add a small, white-on-black OLED to your Teensy development board. The 128×32 monochrome display is controlled with the popular SSD1306 IC, and is a great way to display debug information and to visualize data without the need for a serial terminal. The board matches the Teensy 3 form factor perfectly, and was designed from the ground up to be as flexible as possible while still being able to nest down into a low-profile addition for the Teensy.

The TeensyView comes with everything you need except the headers. Additionally, there are jumpers on one side of the board that allow you to configure how the OLED communicates with the attached Teensy. Since this is a headerless board, you have the option to solder on whatever type of header best fits your needs. Headers you may find useful with this product include the Teensy Header Kit, Straight Headers, Long Straight Headers and Female Headers.

Teensy 3.2 is available at SparkFun for $19.95 and TeensyView is available for $14.95. TeensyView right now is out of stock but you can still follow up and get a notification once it returns to stock.

You can know more in-action details by checking this SparkFun tutorial and checking theses links SchematicEagle FilesDrawing BitmapsOLED Memory MapDatasheet (SSD1306), Arduino Library, and GitHub!

Source: SparkFun

Super Efficient Nano-LED

For the exponentially growing data traffic worldwide, the data connections within and between microchips are increasingly becoming a bottleneck. Optical connections are an obvious successor, but that requires an adequate nano-sized light source – and this has now been found. Researchers from the TU Eindhoven have succeeded in making a nano-LED with an efficiency 1000 times greater than its predecessors, and which can operate at a data rate of gigabits per second.


The data connections between microchips (the so-called interconnects) are responsible for the majority of the energy consumption of these chips – one of the reasons why there is a worldwide search for optical (photonic) interconnects. The problem here is the light source: it has to be small enough to fit in the microscopic structure of the microchips. The output power and efficiency also have to be high enough – and especially the latter was a challenge.

The LED that was developed at the TU Eindhoven has a size of only a few hundred nanometers and has a integrated light channel (wave guide) for transporting the light signal. The increase in the efficiency of this new LED was mostly due to the quality of the coupling of the LED to that light channel.

The research is described in the paper ‘Waveguide-coupled nanopillar metal-cavity light-emitting diodes on silicon’ that appeared in Nature Communications; it can be viewed here.
Source: Elektor

The New Light-responsive Nano LEDs

A team of researchers from the US and South Korea reported a unique type of NanoLEDs with unprecedented brightness levels, that excess 80,000 cd/m2, and also can operate both as light emitters and light detectors.

These new LEDs are about 50nm long and 6nm in diameter. As described in the paper, they included quantum dots of two different types, one of which can enhance radiative re-combinations (useful for LEDs) while the other type leads to efficient separation of photo-generated carriers.

Low- and high magnification scanning transmission electron microscopy images of DHNRs (right) magnified image of the region within the white dotted box on the left.

The research of this invention had been published in a paper titled “Double-heterojunction nanorod light-responsive LEDs for display applications“. The researchers consider the dual-mode LEDs will pave the way to new types of interactive displays.

As we head toward the “Internet of things” in which everything is integrated and connected, we need to develop the multi-functional technology that will make this happen. Oh et al. developed a quantum dot-based device that can harvest and generate light and process information. Their design is based on a double-hetero-junction nano-rod structure that, when appropriately biased, can function as a light-emitting diode or a photodetector. Such a dual-function device should contribute to the development of intelligent displays for networks of autonomous sensors.

The device can reach a maximum brightness in excess of 80,000 cd/m2 with a low turn-on voltage (around 1.7 V). It also exhibits low bias and high efficiencies at display-relevant brightness. The research team reports an external quantum efficiency of 8.0% at 1000 cd/m2 under 2.5 V bias.

Energy band diagram of DHNR-LED along with directions of charge flow for light emission (orange arrows) and detection (blue arrows) and a schematic of a DHNR.

One of the experiments was operating a 10×10 pixel DNHR-LED array under reverse bias as a live photodetectors, combined with a circuit board that supplied a forward bias to any pixel detecting incident light. And by alternating forward and reverse bias at a sub-millisecond time scale, light-detecting pixels could be “read out” as they illuminated the array.

Future applications of the DNHR LEDs include:

  • Translate any detected signal into brightness adjustments;
  • Automatic brightness adjustment in response to external light–intensity change;
  • Direct imaging or scanning at screen level;
  • Display-to-display data communication.
  • Displays can harvest or scavenge energy from ambient light sources without the need for integrating separate solar cells.

Sources: elektor, EETimes

A FPGA controlled RGB LED MATRIX for Incredible Effects

A dot matrix RGB LED graphic panel, managed by a FPGA-based controller board that may be separately used as a demoboard, so to evaluate the potential of the on-board Spartan 6. First installment.

A FPGA controlled RGB LED MATRIX for Incredible Effects – [Link]

RGBdigit clock

by Lucky @ elektormagazine.com build a LED display clock able to display temperature, humidity and air pressure. He writes:

What do you do when you want to design ‘something’ with a vintage or modern display? A clock of course, and this is our first design with RGBDigits: multi-colour 7-segment displays. With a BME280 breakout board attached it will also display temperature, humidity and air pressure. The clock is controlled by an ESP12 module, which makes it possible to synchronise the clock with an internet time server, change the clock settings from any mobile device or computer in the network, or transmit sensor data via Wi-Fi.

RGBdigit clock – [Link]

AS7221, An IoT Smart Lighting Manager

ams AG, a multinational semiconductor manufacturer and provider of high performance sensors and analog ICs, had announced the AS7221, an integrated white-tunable smart lighting manager that can be controlled through its network connection by means of simple text-based commands.

AS7221 Block Diagram

AS7221 is a networking-enabled IoT Smart Lighting Manager with embedded tri-stimulus color sensing for direct CIE color point mapping and control. IoT luminaire control is through a network connection, or by direct connection to 0-10V dimmers, with control outputs that include direct PWM to LED drivers and analog 0-10V to dimming ballasts. A simple text-based Smart Lighting Command Set and serial UART interface, enable easy integration to standard network clients.

Key features of AS7221:

  • Calibrated XYZ tri-stimulus color sensing for direct translation to CIE 1931/1976 standard observer color maps
  • Autonomous color point and lumen output adjustment resulting in automatic spectral and lumen maintenance
  • Simple UART interface for connection to network hardware clients for protocols such as Bluetooth, ZigBee and WiFi
  • Smart Lighting Command Set (SLCS) uses simple text-based commands to control and configure a wide variety of functions
  • Directly interfaces to 0-10V dimmer controls and standard occupancy sensors
  • Built-in PWM generator to dim LED lamps and luminaires
  • 12-bit resolution for precise dimming down to 1%
  • 0-10V analog output for control of conventional dimming ballasts in a current steering design
  • 20-pin LGA package 4.5mm x 4.7mm x 2.5mm with integrated aperture

“The next generation of lighting will be defined by three key characteristics: controllability, adaptation and connected architectures,” said Tom Griffiths, Senior Marketing Manager at ams. “Our new family of smart lighting managers meet those criteria. With this latest entry, we are addressing the luminaire manufacturers’ critical time-to-market challenge for developing and deploying a spectrally tunable luminaire that is cost-effective, accurate, and which smoothly integrates into the Internet of Things”.

The AS7221 is the first extension to ams’s recently announced Cognitive Lighting™ smart lighting manager family. The compact AS7221 will be available in a 5x5mm LGA package, for flexible integration into both luminaires and larger replacement lamps.

There are main domains of AS7221 applications, some of them are:

  • Smart home and smart building
  • Variable CCT general lighting industrial lighting
  • Retail and hospitality lighting with white-color tuning
  • LED tro ers, panel and downlights
  • LED replacement lamps (LED bulbs)
AS7221 Functional Diagram

Pricing for the AS7221 Spectral Tuning IoT Smart Lighting Manager is set at $3.13 in quantities of 10,000 pieces, and is available in production volumes now.

You can find AS7221 datasheet here.

NVSW319A, A New High Power LED By Nichia

Nichia Corporation, the Japanese chemical engineering and manufacturing company, announced the NVSW319A as a new high-power LED that achieves 164 lm/W at 700mA (5,000K).

The 319A is a 3.5×3.5×2.1 mm size LED which is footprint compatible with the old 3.5mm LEDs. The breakdown is specified at 1,050 mA (~3 W). Nichia planned to start the mass production of this LEDs in the end of December 2016 or in the early January 2017.

“The 319A is a production device, i.e. not one shining brightly deep down in a liquid nitrogen vessel or in the minds of a few theorists at MIT.” Nichia say.

A variant with 3000K color temperature is expected to yield 415 lm with a minimum CRI (color rendering index) of 80. This device won’t give you much deep red though as its R9 CRI specification is zero.

Source: elektor

PCB X-mas tree

Matthias created a X-Mas tree project using the DirtyPCB boards from dangerousprotorypes.com :

The project features an USB capable PIC16F1549 µC with:

  • USB FS device
  • 48 MHz internal Oscillator
  • 2 PWM modules
  • 10-bit ADC with Voltage Reference
  • Integrated Temperature Indicator Module

The LEDs are connected to the 2 PWM outputs via N-mos drivers. A Potentiometer is connected to one ADC channel for controlling the brightness of the LEDs or possibly the speed or variation of animations. Different modes of the X-mass tree can be switched by pressing a push button.

PCB X-mas tree – [Link]

A Christmas star with Neopixel LEDs

A geeky Christmas decoration made with 56 LED Neopixel and controlled via an Arduino Micro board:

Let’s take a look, therefore, at the project’s electrical section, that is essentially composed of a set of 56 Neopixel LEDs, that have been arranged so to form two concentric stars; the first 35 RGB LEDs (out of 56) form the bigger, external star, while the other 20 ones form the smaller and internal star. The LED number 56 is placed exactly at the center of the printed circuit board, that has the shape of a five-pointed star.
The Neopixel LEDs are connected in cascade but powered in parallel; such a configuration enables to address each single LED and to individually choose the colour; among the possible hues, the 256 possible combinations for each primary colour (therefore we have 256x256x256 combinations!) determine a total of 16,777,216 colours: that’s what one would call true colours!

A Christmas star with Neopixel LEDs – [Link]

How to use an RGB LED with Arduino

educ8s.tv uploaded a new video on their youtube channel.

Hey guys, I am Nick and welcome to educ8s.tv a channel that is all about DIY electronics projects with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, ESP8266 and other popular boards. In this video we are going to learn how to use an RGB led with Arduino, a very interesting type of LED. As you can see I have connected this LED to an Arduino Uno and every second it changes its color. That’s very handy because we can use only one LED in our projects and produce many colors!

How to use an RGB LED with Arduino – [Link]