Beginner help with SK6812 RGBWW

I am new to this and this will be my first project using Pixelblaze. My kids/wife want indirect lighting added to each of the kids bedrooms. The kids want colorful dancing lights, and I liked the ideal they could learn some code, hence the Pixelblaze and my wife wants Warm White. The SK6812 seemed like that would solve all the issues with LED colors available and separate Warm White. I have been playing with the lights and the Pixelblaze since it arrived and have had some fun with the coding. l can not seem to get the lights and the controller to do a few things. Was looking for help trying to figure out how to light the WW channel by its self as well as mix the RGB channels with the WW channel? Is that even possible on the Pixelblaze? Thanks in advance

Hello, and welcome!

(Sorry for the slow response. @Wizard and most of the forum regulars are either at Burning Man or doing related things this week. )

So, I started with Pixelblaze in exactly the same way a couple of years ago – with some indirect lighting for a room, using SK6812 strips. It worked out really well – I’ve linked a thread with pictures at the end of this message.

Is your strip working properly as a normal RGBW strip? (Were you able to set the LED color order for GRBW (or whatever order your lights are) and get things to display in the right colors. When in doubt, KITT should be red!)

If so, you should already be able to set the lights to pretty much any color or color temperature by setting an RGB value. Or you could use a library pattern. “Real World Lights” and “UtilityColorTemp” in the library are a couple that I run on my household lights.

The Pixelblaze calculates the white channel value automatically from the RGB values you supply. Most LED controllers work this way by default – Having a separate white LED is advantageous because it can produce higher quality whites than mixed R,G, and B, and because it uses about 1/3 the power to make full white. The controller makes this transparent to the user.

However, if you’re willing to do some minor hackery, it is possible to control the white channel channel separately. You gain additional brightness this way, at the cost of complexity.

Doing this requires modifying each pattern you want to use. It can require a lot more power, and may also overheat your strip if you leave it running for long. Details are in this thread.

(Here’s how my Pixelblaze setup worked out – might help convince your wife that a little colored light is a good thing.)

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