FPGA Powered WS2812 Christmas Light Grid

Using a Arty S7-50 with a soft mCPU powering a 32×20 WS2812b grid of lights.

This thing is super bright. My iPhone really didn’t like the contrast between night and the lights so the video looks very washed out. It looks a lot better in real life.

Apologies for the tacky flags in the video – they were just a good way to test it with recognisable shapes. Rest assured that for actual Christmas display they were a lot more classy..

VHDL code will be available in the github repo under an open source licence. If I did this again I would probably just order the grid premade – it was just too painful to attach and solder each line of LEDs. There’s plenty on AliExpress.

As the logic level of the Arty is 3.3V and the WS2812’s require 5V I needed a logic level shifter to shift the signals, which I made as covered in this post.

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