Newbie - Parts to Construct a Pixel Stick

Hi :wave:t2: ,

I’m very new to all of this and I need your input to help me purchase the correct parts. I’m making a Pixel Stick to use at a Light Painting class that we will be conducting for some teens in my small town.

The pixelstick is an addressable RGB LED strip controlled by an Arduino that can display all sorts of animations to make awesome lightpaintings photographs.

Each LED acts like a pixel on a screen, displaying an image one vertical line at a time as you walk. These vertical lines, when captured by a long exposure photography, combine to recreate your image in mid air, leaving the person using it invisible. This technique is also called lightpaintings.


I will read the guides I’m finding on the site but I’d like to get the parts ASAP so I can try as I read.

According to the instructions given, I require the following 4 items and I think I may have found the correct parts but I’m not sure:

I’ve attached an screen image taken from the instructions as well as the link to GitHub instructions.

I have my own breadboard to do a test run and I’m fairly familiar with dc circuits - well I was 25 years ago :slight_smile:

Any help would be fantastic and very much appreciated.

Cheers and thank you,




Hi Jan,

Looks like you’ve found a good guide and have most of the big-picture stuff worked out.
Most WS2812 LED strips are fine to cut down to a shorter length, you just need to cut them at the designated points, see the image below.

The pushbutton you have linked is a latching switch, so when pressed it will toggle between states and stay in the new position. The alternative is a momentary switch, where the button changes state while it is held down, and returns to the original state when you let go.
Momentary switches are the “standard” for pushbuttons, so it will be worth double-checking if the guide assumes your switch is momentary.
The switch linked below is a momentary switch which will fit a breadboard.

Hi Trent, thanks very much for that. I see what you mean by the Standard button being momentary and that may be what the original designer wanted. To be on the safe side I think I’ll go with both types. They won’t go astray. Cheers :smiley:


Hi Jan,

Certainly doesn’t hurt to have a couple of spares of both kinds floating around. You’ll wind up needing them for a project eventually.

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