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Arduino LED Controller

Software Based Lighting for Desktop PCs

 Using an Arduino Uno plus a Velleman KA02 LED Shield in order to power a strip of 5050 LED Lights, I was able to create a microcontroller based solution for my desire to have software control for the lighting on my desktop. Although this idea has been implemented by manufacturers in the forms of LED strips that can be plugged into a controller, the software implementations have always been lackluster, and the lighting strips have been pricey. I created a solution that is inexpensive and much more easily modifiable. 

The controller, after being soldered together and seated on the Arduino.

The Software


  • Custom animations and light effects
  • HSB color settings, to increase usability, being translated to RGB codes through Processing libraries
  • Line-In audio processing, made possible through the Minim libraries, allowing for music-based lighting effects

The programming for this project was initially very simple, and consisted only of some sample code that I could modify based on the color I wanted the LEDs to change to. This quickly evolved into a serial based piece of software written in processing that can interface with the Arduino that communicates with the USB connection. The latest version of this software has eliminated any Arduino-side processing of data, and relies on Processing to do all the math, which is then sent to over USB using serial in the form of a 9 digit string of numbers.