The unsoldered pins are GND, TX, RX, and 3V3, which offer a serial connection for a dedicated development kit. Soldering pins to these connections is trivial for experienced users, but it won't do much good as no matter what we used to monitor the serial connection, no data was transferred to or from the board.
Another set of unsoldered pins are for a single-wire communication system developed by Telink. ‘SWS’ refers to a single-wire slave device which requires a connection to a single-wire master device in order to see any data.
The colour and patterns created by the lights can be controlled directly from the plastic control unit. This offers limited control, but enough for basic use. And we can easily solder our own breakout buttons to the board, useful for cosplay use or a more robust interface.
For more advanced users, the Govee Home app – available for iOS and Android – is required and provides a much more advanced way to control every aspect of the lights, from simple colours to elaborate animations.
These LEDs may be 'smart', but they are not individually addressable, so the colour or animation you choose for the lights will be seen in every single LED, unlike NeoPixels and other addressable LEDs which enable individual control.
What's great about this kit is that no matter how we use the lights, the control board will remember our preference ready for the next time they are used. Handy for decorating your home.
For quick and simple LED lighting, this unit is perfect, more for the price than function. It is hackable and can be easily integrated into a project with very little effort.
Relying on USB power means we can power the lights from any USB power bank, and even with a 1200 mAh dollar/pound/euro store battery, we can get a few hours of light for our cosplay. The free app is a nice bonus and works reasonably well.
In the latest update, there is a sound-to-light option for sound- reactive LEDs. But this relies on your phone's microphone to detect sound and control the lights accordingly. So if you are concerned about your privacy, best not use this option.
When it comes to using the lights with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi etc., this is possible as the LEDs are simple RGB LEDs. Just ensure that you measure your voltages and take the appropriate steps to safeguard your boards.
Cost-effective and easy-to-use illumination for projects great and small. This would be particularly effective in cosplay, as the control board can be hidden from sight and accessed using custom buttons. Using the lights in the home for decoration is a great idea as they can be wrapped around objects and retain their shape and strength thanks to the copper wire. Great fun, and ideal for the kids.
You'll need: Govee 10 m RGB Copper Wire Lights With App Model: H7312
One by One
Addressable LEDs are a fascinating part of electronics. They come in single units, rings, squares, matrices, and self-adhesive tapes of varying lengths. In our collection, we have 'fairy light' versions which are used to decorate our Christmas tree and provide gentle illumination in our home.
The most popular addressable LEDs are NeoPixels, a brand name from Adafruit for WS2812B LEDs. These LEDs feature three LEDs for red, green, and blue, and these colours are mixed to produce any desired colour. NeoPixels can be used with many different boards, and they are often used with Arduino for embedded installations.
They are simple to learn and offer a great way to add interest to a project. The biggest drawbacks to WS2812B are that it requires exact timing in order to show colours, and that it can flicker, which is not ideal if using them in props for television or movies.
There are alternatives to WS2812B, such as APA102 and the SK9822 which both use the SPI interface (again, most boards have this) to achieve a similar effect; using SPI also means they do not rely on timing and so there is no flicker.