16 January, 2021

Outdoor Lighting using WS2812B LED Strip with WLED – Setup Guide and Tutorial

In this video I'm going to installoutdoor lighting using WS2812B LED strip and WLED.

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Hi I'm Will from Will Surridge Tech, and inthis video we're going to be installing some outdoor lighting into my garden.

We're going to use some WS2812B digital LED strip and a Wemos D1 Mini as we did in my last LED strip video.

But this time we're going to beusing WLED instead of ESPHome.

If you stick around until the end I'm going toshow you my favourite effect in WLED.

So to do this we're going to need: someWS2812B LED strip, a suitable power supply, a Wemos D1 Mini tocontrol it, some wire to link it all together, a logic shifter, a solderingiron, and a glue gun.

If you want to make it look pretty then you're also going towant to get some aluminium extrusion.

So starting with the LED strip.

I covered a bitmore about the theory of LED strips in my other video but basically the WS2812B is a digital LED strip.

That means it's got a micro controller inside each LEDpixel.

This means you can control each pixel individually and that enables youto run effects down the line.

The strips come in different pixel densities andwaterproof levels.

The fewer pixels you have the cheaper it's going to be andthe less power you're going to need to run it; but the more pixels you have themore continuous your effects are going to look which were much nicer.

In thisexample I'm going to use 30 pixels per meter, whereas for my indoor LED strip Iuse 60 pixels per meter.

As for waterproofing, there are three differentlevels of waterproofing that the strip can come in.

You can either get it in nowaterproofing at all like I had for my indoor strip, or you can get it with asilicon coating across the strip this is IP65 rated, or you can get it in IP67rated so the whole LED strip is inside a silicon tube.

Remember if you cut the LEDstrip at any point you're going to need to reseal it so you can use some hotglue or heat shrink to do this.

I'm going to use IP65 rated LED strip as it'sgoing to be inside the aluminium extrusion so it shouldn't get affectedby the rain that much.

It's also not going to be submerged.

As for the powersupply, as I mentioned in my last video you're going to need 0.

18 Wattsper LED pixel, and I've got six meters of LED strip, at 30 pixels per meter, thatmeans I going to need 35 watts of power.

At 5V that equates to 7A.

Ifyour power supply isn't beefy enough to supply the power to your LED strip youcan always limit the current draw in the WLED software later on.

There are threemain types of power supply you can get for low voltage.

You either have one witha transformer built into the plug like your phone charger, these generally go upto about 4 amps; or you have ones with a separate transformer a bit like a laptopcharger, these can go up to about 8 amps; or you have the ones like I'm usingtoday which is just a metal casing with screw terminals for the input and theoutput, these can go up to a whopping 60 amps.

But these do require you to why thepower yourself so if you're not comfortable playing with mains voltagesthen I suggest you use the other form instead.

I don't want my LED strip to bea permanent installation so I'm going to cut my LED strip every meter and stickit inside an individual bit of aluminium channel.

I'm then going to addconnections to each of the ends of the LED strip so I can join them alltogether when it's in place.

If you're making a permanent installation then Isuggest leaving the LED strip in one long length – the fewer connections youhave to make the less likely things are to go wrong, but if you do have to make aconnection you can just solder between the two pads at the end of each LEDstrip rather than adding crimp connections like I'm doing.

As forpower injection, this depends on how long your runs going to be and how thick thecable is you're going to be using.

I'm going to inject every two meters becauseI'm using quite thin cable.

Because of the way I cut my LED strip I can use thepre-made injection wires every two meters that are directly attached to theLED strip but if you can't do this then you can solder directly onto the padsinstead.

Once we're happy with all our connectors we can move on to making thecircuit board for our controller.

I'm going to make my circuit on a bit ofstrip board but you can make yours in a breadboard or even just using jumperwires if you prefer for this we're going to your Wemos D1 mini and our logicshifter with header pins attached.

We're going to get the 5 volts from our powersupply and we want to connect the 5 volt line to the 5 volts on our Wemos D1Mini and the high voltage on our logic shifter.

We want to connect the ground to the ground on the D1 Mini and the ground onboth sides of the logic shifter.

We're going to connect 3.

3 volts from our Wemos D1 Mini to the low voltage side of our logic shifter.

Then we're going toconnect D4 to one of our low voltage data inputs on the logic shifter.

Thehigh voltage data output is going to go straight to our LED strip.

I'm going touse male header pins for my power input and my data output on this strip board.

This means I can connect my power supply and my LED strip just using some headerpins.

I'm also going to use some female header pins for attaching my d1 minithis means that I can swap it out later on if I need to.

Obviously if you'reusing strip board you're going to need to make sure you cut out any of theconnections you don't want to exist anymore – so between both sides of the d1mini and between the high and low voltage side of the logic shifter, theground however you can let run through.

Once you're happy with all yourconnections you can use a multimeter to test them out and make sure all theconnections are going where they're meant to go and you haven't got anyshorts with anywhere else.

Now we can move on to the software.

We're going toneed to plug our D1 Mini into our computer using a micro USB cable.

We canthen head over to the WLED github page, go over to the wiki, find the binariesand download the latest binary for the ESP8266 micro controller.

If you're usinga different chip you may need to use a different binary here.

Next we open upthe ESPHome-Flasher app, we find the right serial port, select the binary fromour downloads and press flash.

Once that's done we can go and set it up nowwe can connect to the WLED AP Wi-Fi network.

This should automatically bring upa pop-up window, but if it doesn't you can just go to your web browser and goto 4.



1 Once here you can enter the SSID and password for yourWi-Fi, you can add a static IP address and Gateway if you need to, and you canadd a local address.

This is where you can find your controller later on.

Onceyou're happy click Save and return to your normal Wi-Fi.

Once here you shouldbe able to go to your local address that you just set or the IP address of yournew device and you should be able to find the instance.

I would suggest you plug all your LEDs in now to test them out – it's definitelyworth testing them out before you fix them in place.

I'll do a quick overviewof the interface here but if you want to see more detail, then you should checkout Dr Zzz's video.

In settings the first setting we have is the Wi-Fi settings.

You can just ignore these because you've already done them, unless of course youneed to change something.

Next we have the LED settings – this is where you inputthe number of LEDs you have in your strip, and this is where you can alsoinput a maximum current.

The rest of the settings should be fine as they are, butif you find all your colours are wrong, for example you click on green and itcomes out red, then you can change the order of your LEDs here.

Next we haveuser interfaces, that's not really anything useful.

Now we have sync, this isuseful.

If you have a large setup where you're using lots of differentmicro controllers to control your LED strip then you can sync them alltogether so they all interact with each other.

You can also use sync to useArt-net or sACN DMX protocols to control your lights.

This might be useful if youwanted to use another network based interface such as X lights.

We can alsoadd Amazon Echo, Blink, MQTT and Hue to our WLED setup.

I've never done it myself butif you'd like to see me do it in another video let me know in the comments below.

under the time settings we want to make sure we check get time from ntp serverhere so our time is correct.

We can also add macros – macros is a greatway of getting lots of things done at a certain time or in a certain way.

Undersecurity we can also enable over-the-air update to our WLED setup now back tothe main interface.

If we enable PC mode we can see all four editing controlpanels in one wide window.

The first section is colour.

In here you can select your owncolours, create your own three coulor palette, or you can select a colourpalette that's been pre-made by other people.

Next we have effects.

There is a list of all the effects on the WLED github page, but equally you can just try them out for yourself.

At the top we can changethe effect intensity and speed.

Next we have segments, this is useful ifyou want to split your LED strip up.

For example I've got my LED strip in twosides of the garden, so I'm going to have one side of the garden on one segment, and the other side in another segment.

This means you can control themindividually or together.

Lastly we have palettes and presets.

This is whereyou can save your views if you want to.

You can only use slot 16 if you want tosave multiple segments, so I'd suggest once you've got your segment set up withthe correct numbers of LEDs you save it in slot 16.

I would also suggest you gointo your settings and recall slot 16 on boot.

That means that if you restart yourWLED instance then slot 16 will automatically boot up so all yoursegments will be recalled.

Once you're happy that your WLED setup is allcomplete and all your LEDs are functioning correctly we can go andinstall them; but before you do that I'd recommend adding a dab of hot glue undereach new connection that you've made this will re-waterproof them.

If you'reusing aluminium channel I would also recommend adding a dab of hot glue underthe LED strip wherever you've made a cut this means you can't accidentally shortany of your connections with the metal channel itself.

Now we can go outsideinstall them.

Because I know my setup is temporary I'm just laying my channels onthe floor and connecting them up, but if you're making a permanent installationI'd highly recommend using the fixings that come with your aluminium channel tomount them to a surface.

You'll probably want to make your cable management alittle better than mine, and you also probably don't want to have your cablescoming out of your window but that's all I can do.

Once we're happy we can plug itin and test it out.

Now let's integrate it into Home Assistant.

There is actuallya built-in integration for WLED so if you go into your integrations it shouldautomatically appear.

If it doesn't, don't worry, just click the plus search for WLED and type in the host IP address.

If you're planning on using segments inyour setup, make sure you set up your segment before you integrate into HomeAssistant to ensure that they show up properly.

Once done you can click throughand find the device in the entities.

You're going to want to rename them soit doesn't get confusing later on.

The built-in interface is quite limited, youcan change the colour, the brightness, and apply effects but that'sabout it.

I believe if you integrate using MQTT, you'll have much more optionsincluding things like the intensity and speed of your effect.

I've linked to DrZzz's github below where he's integrated all of the features through MQTT for hisWLED setup.

And there we go we've installed some outdoor lighting using WLED and WS2812B LED strip.

It's got loads of pre-made effects, and it'sintegrated into Home Assistant.

Let me know in the comments below where you'vegot your WLED setup installed.

I said I'll show you what my favouriteeffect is so here we go.

My favourite effect is the candle multi.

As you probably know I enjoy ambient lighting that adds warmth to theenvironment.

It's nice to be able to use my LED strip to enhance the ambienceprovided by the candles and the festoon in my garden.

What makes this effectgreat is the colour palette I'm using.

I've decided to create my own colour paletteand I'm using a colour gradient effect over the strip.

My colour palette goesfrom magenta, to a warm orange, to a blue and you can see how it gradually changesthroughout the strip .

For the candle effect that I was looking for, I've setmy time to 15% and my effect intensity to 100% – it looks great.

And there we go -digital LED strip with WLED and integrates into Home Assistant.

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