Cover photo
Peter Buelow
Works at Life Fitness, Inc.
Attended Ball State University
83 followers|144,717 views


Peter Buelow

Show off your work!  - 
A lot of experimentation and help here. Finally got a cheap little candle jack o'lsntern effect. It's a Gemma with a single neopixel and a battery. Works great. Switches between purple and red orange. I'll add code later, but it's in other posts. 
Jason Coon's profile photoMarc Miller's profile photo
Excellent :)
Add a comment...

Peter Buelow

Quasi-related random  - 
Not specifically FastLED, but I'm building a terrarium with FastLED lighting, and I want to add UVA and UVB/C to my control setup. I've found UVA LEDs at Adafruit, but I'm having trouble finding UVB that would be simple to use. My goal is a timer based white plus some very low moonlight using Neopixels plus an ESP8266, and then add UVA/B lighting to handle the vitamin D requirements. I'll figure out heat lighting once I've got this done. This is just ambient lighting with intelligent on and off.

I did find, but those seem like they are not going to be good for this setup (more than 5v for a lot of them, or the expected life is 1000 hours, which isn't very long for 12 hour days).

ILT offers a wide range of UV-LEDs from 265 nm up to 400 nm in many package styles. For sale in online store.
Add a comment...
I just got one of the new Adafruit Feather WICED boards today to try out. Picked up their Neopixel wing as well. However, I'm having trouble getting Arduino 1.6.9 to build it. First time in over a year I've used Arduino as I have mostly been using Eclipse to build my FastLED Photon work.

Anyone have one and have FastLED running on it yet? If so, how did you get it? I am going to guess that this specific M3 is still unsupported, but I'm hoping it's good to go. I'm using master, pulled today. The error is missing avr/io.h, which I suspect is because FastLED is picking the wrong processor.
Daniel Garcia's profile photoJeremy Spencer's profile photo
+Daniel Garcia​ When you look at this board, would it be possible to have another look at the maple mini? Thanks ;)
Add a comment...
Simple question I think. What is the best way to tell if some pixel is at half brightness? I have a simple nightlight in my daughter's room that currently just blinks an LED ring from Adafruit, one pixel on showing through a globe with stars painted on it. Neat little lit moving star field on the ceiling. However, I'd like to do something where I light one for a few seconds, and then dim it rather quickly but start to brighten another when I've dimmed the pixel by say 50%.

I've thought about doing this with CHSV, where the idea is pretty simple, but there aren't enough colors I think. The nightlight doesn't work well with darker colors like red and orange. So, the CRGB gamut is where I want to be because I can do all sorts of bright colors. But, I can't tell when a color is roughly halfway dimmed so I can start the next one.

Anyone have any easy way to do this? Thoughts?
Peter Buelow's profile photoMarc Miller's profile photo
Also, if you know you're darkening it by a fixed amount each loop or iteration, then you would know that after x number of loops or iterations you would have reached that 50% or lower value and it's time to trigger lighting up another pixel.
Add a comment...
Hello +Daniel Garcia and +Mark Kriegsman, I'm looking for some help if you have time. I want to use the Photon, but also play with FastLED master (to get the latest CRGBSet code). But, I have a problem. The FastLED-Sparkcore isn't even close to the latest master. I figured I could fork it and make it work, but I'm having little to no luck getting it to build.

I have a gist containing where I'm stuck during the build at

Code is at

I'm hoping this is something dumb, but I'm worried that you are too far ahead and it will be a lot of work for you or me to pull it into working shape.

Note, I'm building this using Eclipse, in this case from the command line. My project seems to be somewhat complex, and the Web IDE doesn't do it well. I was able to build this using the FastLED-Sparkcore for a long time, but as stated above, I want to use the latest and greatest now for CRGBSet reasons.

Plus, I'm willing to do the work to keep this up to date with master over time. I think this is just one of the latest commits doing something odd though, so maybe it won't be too bad?

Daniel Garcia's profile photoPeter Buelow's profile photo
Their web IDE is terrible. I mostly just hate it, but use it for some quick one off items when having web access is nice and my laptop isn't handy. Command line and Eclipse is way nicer.

I'd like to help here, and can dedicate a little bit of time to this. I just don't want to get my fork running only to find out it was way different than what you did. I can wait, this is obviously not critical (says my wife). Just love the idea of the CRGBSet and want to start trying that out.
Add a comment...

Peter Buelow

Discussion  - 
Has anyone done any work with FastLED on a connected Micro, using TCP or UDP to control it? I'd like to setup a Photon with some sort of handler that allows me to set a program, color, or brightness in close to real time using UDP messaging (think Hue control like). The Photon should do this very neatly.

I know I can do this, pry a bunch of interesting ways. The question is, what have others done, and what issues were solved? Would openpixelcontrol work for this? Are there other LED control protocols (especially lightweight ones for use with a micro and UDP)? Should I just hack up some simple UDP protocol and do it that way? The REST interface isn't a good choice, too slow, and I just started looking into OPC. This will all be local network driven via WiFi, so I'm curious to know what others have done and how they figured it all out.
Peter Buelow's profile photoSimon Hermansen's profile photo
if you just want to set a single pixel at a time, OSC might be the way to go, you can type in OSC messages from telnet as well. The format could be something like "/1/(number of the pixel you want to set)/(the colour )" 
Add a comment...
I'm having some Gemma issues. The code is linked below. Basically that program runs perfectly on an Uno for days. The exact same code on the Gemma locks up solid after about an hour, but it seems to be random. Anyway you cut it, on the Gemma, it won't run for very long, and makes it sorta useless. I want the Gemma because I'm sticking a single Neopixel in a small lantern with two 2032 batteries. I don't have room for much else. And I'm not convinced the Trinket would be different in this case (it would fit).

Amelia T's profile photoPeter Buelow's profile photoDaniel Garcia's profile photo
Something else that you might want to try is investigating what kind of low power modes you can get with the AVR - for example, instead of delaying for 5ms at a time, you could go into one of the various sleep states. Of course, you'd still have the power draw of the led (obviously, lower brightness there would also help). 
Add a comment...
Question about Hue and uint8_t wrapping. I don't seem to be getting what I want, but I don't know why. Basically, I do the following. Pass in a CHSV hue value, and then an upper and lower limit. The idea is that the hue should move back and forth randomly over time from low to high. However, this code just pegs it at the high value and it never changes if I start with 0 and set low -20 and the high +20. I can't for the life of me see why. If I set the low value to be 0, equal to CHSV Red, it works and varies between 0 and the high value. All variables are uint8_t. Any thoughts on how to improve this?

Some code left out of the gist for brevity. See my github link if you want to see the whole thing.

Jason Coon's profile photoPeter Buelow's profile photo
OK, that didn't do it. Same problem. I can do 0 and above, but not 235 to 0 for the low end. I never see it get bluer is my point. It just pegs to the the orangish end (0 + 20) and stays there.
Add a comment...
Gemma, LED's and one or two coin cell batteries. Has anyone done anything really small? I got me a 3d printer, and was going to print some halloween decor, small stuff, and would like to light them with a gemma, a very small battery, and a single FastLED driven LED. But how? Does anyone have some examples of how they did this? Space is a premium, hence the choice of components. I'd rather avoid as much extra stuff as possible to fit the assembly in small decorations. I will survive replacing the battery every day or two for the few days it will be in use. I'd turn them off when not needed as well. But I'm not sure exactly how to do the HW setup to begin with. What works well? I'm game for another micro too (a BLE setup would be super cool, but I don't want to spend a lot), but I have a few gemma's sitting around, so that would work for me.
Kelvin Mead's profile photoPeter Buelow's profile photoErin St. Blaine's profile photo
Or this one: For very small stuff there are smaller boards than Gemma!
Add a comment...
How would I go about getting a candle light effect using a 12 LED ring from Adafruit? I tried Fire2012 from +Mark Kriegsman, but that doesn't look right. I want it to just be sort of a bright candle effect, limited color range, and using a palette so I can modify it to be and ice candle for cool nights.

I've got a tiki torch using a ball mason jar and a photon to drive the lights. I frosted the glass, and am putting it on top of the tiki torch base you can buy from Home Depot or Lowes. So far, so good. But now I gotta get the right effect. I am just striking out. Good coder, just not artistically creative, so I am not getting something that might look like the flame from a tiki torch.

I might also make it use the Adafruit Jewel which would move the lights farther from the glass. Just a thought.

Anyone creative with this? I'm drawing a blank. I will share my Eagle board via github which fits nicely into the 3" mason jar opening leaving the electronics sealed for the most part.
Marc Miller's profile photoMatt Richard's profile photoPeter Buelow's profile photoKen White's profile photo
+Peter Buelow -  check out the post by +Christopher Smolinski and his digital fireplace (put the word “fireplace” in the FastLED community search box and scroll to the bottom).  He uses +Mark Kriegsman’s "holiday twinkle" code with a palette of red, orange, and yellow.  I tried this with a 24 NeoPixel ring using an Arduino Uno and a glass with tissue paper in the glass covering the ring.  It looks nice.  I am sure you can adjust the palettes and other variables to get the effect you want.
Add a comment...

Peter Buelow

Discussion  - 
Has anyone done aquarium lighting? There are two purposes for me for this activity.

1. To turn the light on and off at a given time every day, so I don't have to remember to do it.
2. I'd like to do something which is more blue white early and late, and during the day, sunlight. Maybe some varying levels such as clouds gently passing.

I know this is a lot for a small fish tank, but I have a lid which has a very nice light apparatus that I can pillage to create a much better one. I'm going to use a Photon as the controller to get easy access to the network, so just keep in mind I'm not on master please.

Thoughts? I'm going to prototype this next week when I get a few minutes. However, given the level of color and blending awareness here, I thought I would get some ideas first.

Going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 WS2812, pry two strips of 6 from the 30 per meter adafruit setup. I also plan to do some palettes which may show off fish colors better as well, but the primary purpose is just to keep their schedule fairly normal.

Andrew Tuline's profile photoAdam Groves's profile photoTerkel Sorensen's profile photoPeter Buelow's profile photo
Thanks. So, freshwater, small, no real plants now. Keeping it simple with 2 small kids is the goal. I used to have a pretty elaborate freshwater setup, but that was 25 years ago. I may try for that again in the future, but not now.

Nothing more than small colorful fish from the Amazon I would assume right now. Think Danio, Gourami, Tetra, and maybe some sort of bottom feeder, etc. Finding a way to make some of the colors pop is a goal, so adding some blue/purple might be nice. Mostly though, I just want to make sure the fish are comfortable and I don't forget to turn on/off the light.

I do plan to extend this for control of temp and do PH and other monitoring in the future, but that's just because I can and will have a Micro sitting mostly unused to do it.
Add a comment...
I can't for the life of me find a reference to an already set and nicely laid out Christmas Palette. I built one, but I don't love it, and am wondering what others have used. Searching the forum and Google isn't turning anything up, though I'm sure this isn't the first time someone has asked.

Can someone share their tested and nicely arranged Christmas palette with me?
Mark Kriegsman's profile photoJeremy Spencer's profile photoPeter Buelow's profile photo
Mark's palette is nice. I'm playing it tonight using his twinkles code. The colors are very nice and work well. The only change I made was to add a Red and Blue replacing two of the whites, as it was  a little too much white in my opinion. 

Thanks +Mark Kriegsman 
Add a comment...
Software Manager
  • Life Fitness, Inc.
    Engineering Manager, 2014 - present
    I am the embedded SW manager for Life Fitness workout products.
Basic Information
  • Ball State University