Adding NeoPixels / WS2812 LEDs to blink(1)

[originally posted on todbot blog]

You may not have known, but blink(1) USB notification LEDs have a secret: they can drive 16 extra LEDs in the form of “NeoPixel” WS2812 LEDs.  This is what was behind the “blink(16)” project.

If you take apart a blink(1), you’ll see it has three tiny plated holes. These are the three needed by WS2812 LEDs: +5V, Gnd, and Data.

Or, in diagram form against a standard WS2812B strip:

Taking apart a blink(1) to wire it up for extra LEDs isn’t too difficult if you’re okay with a bit of soldering.  Here’s videos showing two different ways to do it:

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