Frequently Asked Questions
What type of LED strips work with Lumazoid?
The Lumazoid is designed for WS2812 or WS2812B LED strips. These are readily available from many suppliers (including us) and are sometimes referred to as “NeoPixel” which is Adafruit’s branding for WS2812B strips. Sometimes LED strips are referred to as “WS2811” but the name WS2811 only refers to the driver chip and not the integrated chip+LED combo. If you have an LED strip that someone called “WS2811” and it has 3 wires (5V, ground, and data) then it should work.
The Lumazoid does NOT work with other types of LED strips based on different technology like APA102 and APA104 LEDs (for example, Adafruit “DotStar” strips). Lumazoid only works with 3-wire LED strips based on WS2812 or WS2812B technology.
What are the power requirements?
A 5V power supply capable of supplying 2A of current is required to drive 60 or 120 LEDs (for example, 1m or 2m strips). Even though 120 LEDs can draw more than 2A, the Lumazoid visualizations are carefully designed not to exceed this. We think a 2m 120 LED strip is ideal for Lumazoid because the power supply is more affordable. To drive a 180 LED strip you should use a larger power supply. If you design/code your own visualizations you will need to consider the power requirements of your design.
I have a really long LED strip. Can I drive more than 180 LEDs with Lumazoid?
Memory constraints prevent Lumazoid from driving visualizations with more than 180 LEDs. But you can drive multiple strips with the same visualization output by modifying the code and connecting more strips using the pads A2 and A3 which are broken out on the right side of the board. Make sure you use a power supply capable of delivering enough current to drive all those LEDs.
I have a 1 meter 144 LED strip. Can I use the Lumazoid with it?
The Lumazoid visualizations are designed to work with multiples of 60 LEDs because these are the most common LED strips. But if you have a 144 LED strip, just contact us and we can provide a Lumazoid configured to work with exactly 144 LEDs. That’s how cool we are.
Why isn’t Lumazoid responding much to my music?
It’s important to turn the volume of your music device up to a high level, especially if it is a phone or tablet. Also turn up the Lumazoid sensitivity knob to a high level.
Can I use a microphone?
We’ve had some success with a small electret microphone with amplifier like this but it doesn’t work as well as hard-wiring the audio signal. To power an electret microphone, there is a 5V pad right next to the Lumazoid input jack.
Instead of connecting the Lumazoid output jack to my audio system, can I use an audio Y-cable from my music device and have one line go to the Lumazoid and one to my audio system?
Yes, that generally works, but if the music device does not have a strong audio signal (like a phone), the music can sound muffled (the Lumazoid connection creates a low pass filter in this configuration). When using a computer as the music source, a Y-cable works fine for me.
Does Lumazoid work over Bluetooth?
No. Our goal was to make the simplest, cheapest way to integrate an LED strip with your music.
Can I connect a Lumazoid to an iPod dock?
Nope. Our goal was to make the simplest, cheapest way to integrate an LED strip with your music.
My Lumazoid doesn’t seem to work. Any ideas?
When you apply power does the board’s blue LED come on? It should blink brightly 3 times when power is applied. If this LED is on, then the board is running correctly. Ensure your LED strip is connected properly with the correct connections. Hold down the color button when plugging in power to configure the brightness. If your LED strip is connected properly, you will see the first 8 LEDs on your strip lit up like a rainbow (adjust brightness with parameter knob).
How do I program the Lumazoid?
Lumazoid is a basically specialized Arduino Uno. The source code is on GitHub. You can program it via the 6-pin serial connection at the top of the board using a standard FTDI USB to serial cable or adapter. We sell the Adafruit FTDI Friend which works great and is inexpensive. IMPORTANT: you must connect 5V power when using the FTDI adapter. The 5V VCC line from the adapter is not connected to the Lumazoid to avoid drawing too much current through a USB connection. So, to program using Arduino, connect both the FTDI adapter and normal 5V power to the board. If you are sure you will not draw too much current through the FTDI adapter (for example, you program the board with no LEDs attached), you can solder the jumper on the back of the board which will connect the FTDI 5V line to the board.