Mancave LED setup

First off, newb alert! I apologize ahead of time if this causes you to lose brain cells. Just an RGB LED junkie looking for some help to get my fix. ;]

I started finishing my basement 4 years ago and just now getting to the final stage. I started knowning nothing about construction and have researched, watched youtube videos, read books, etc and did every single part of it on my own. Anyway, part of the final stage is hooking up a final solution for LEDs. Woo hoo!!!

First, I am using Sportify as my source of music. I have Phillips Hue bridge, but most of their apps suck and are limited. So, scratch that one off the list… I also found Visual Vibes LED controller that can separate the music light synchronization on the fly based on frequency, very very very cool. One for bass, one for mids, and one for highs, but its $350 and doesn’t have the ability to have multiple devices/controllers synced together. I need multiple separate controllers because I plan to have lights in the tray ceiling above the pool table, lights under the bar top, lights under a half wall, lights behind a TV in the pool table room, and lights in others areas, which would make it extremely difficult to fish wires all the way to just one unit. Then I found that the LED strip lights from Amazon with the connection to the Magic Home app produces a good music reactive light show and I can have multiple led controllers synced (although still slightly out of sync, it works.) There are two things still missing in the Magic Home solution, I do not want to rely on the mic of my phone or laptop to translate the music to the led controller, I want to use an audio port to eliminate ambient noises and conversations from affecting the accuracy of the music/lights synchronization. I am sure I could find out how to open up the controller, desolder the internal mic and solder an audio port/jack, but thats still kinda janky in my opinion and I have faith there is a better way to accomplish this. Second issue is they are all based on non addressable led strips, so no cool light shows like what the Visual Vibes product would offer. I also searched facebook groups (as I usually do when Im trying to learn something new, like plumbing, electrical, framing etc, 3d printing, programming, lawn tips, etc…) but I couldn’t find a group related to a project quite like this one… And then FINALLY, I somehow stumbled upon Pixel Blaze and was blown away with the progress, current features, and community!

So, with that said, can someone here point me in the right direction? Maybe help me design a plan, compile a parts list, and a little guidance one how to sync multiple led controllers together? I’ll put in the time and effort to purchase, connect and program it. I just need someone to tell me where to go, what to read, etc…

Thanks in advance!

Pixelblazes are the tool for the job, for sure!

Buy a pixelblaze along with a sensor extension, and this.

Power the pixelblaze via micro usb into a wall charger, and play around. That’s the fastest way to wrap your head around how overwhelmingly powerful they are!

The pixelblazes can indeed divide the frequency up and pick which ones to listen. 100hz to 10,000hz broken up into 24 sections if I remember right off the top of my head… Aside from that, the sensor extension have a 3.5mm jack that ought be perfect for your purposes!

“little guidance one how to sync multiple led controllers together?”
Firestorm, or the pixelblaze library!


Thank you!!! I really appreciate your help

I see firestorm would need to be installed on a Raspberry Pi 4, which I am happy to purchase. However, I am curious what RAM you suggest as I don’t know what would be required to run firestorm sufficiently. 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB?

Zero! Save yourself the heartache, and just run firestorm on any computers you happen to have laying around that’s running 24/7. Even on your main computer, it’d be a tiny background task that’s barely sipping any computing power.

Right now, raspberry pi prices are out of control. They’re hundreds of dollars each, get a used desktop, laptop, something for 30 dollars instead and leave the machine running firestorm constantly.

I think even a raspyberry pi w will run the entire set-up just fine… If you can find one for a few dollars, awesome!

Can you hear me sobbing over all of those out of stocks? Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits

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Yes, just about anything can run Firestorm.

Could even run it on older pi with 256mb ram. Various pi clones should work too.

Check for official pi distributor stock, sometimes cheaper to ship international!

I have a couple of pi Model B (PCB says: “Raspberry Pi (c)2011.12” and it looks like the pictures of the B) with case, wifi (or maybe it’s bluetooth) dongle, and 4gb SD cards.

Happy to send one or both to anyone for free + the cost of shipping from .nl!


Just came here to say how rad it is of you offering to get this dude a part he needs for his set up

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Thank you Sorceror! My mother moved from the Netherlands to the US on a boat when she was 17, back in the late 50’s. I’ve always wanted to visit. Anyway, I appreciate the offer! If you still have them, I’d be happy to accept them! Let me know what shipping cost is to Sunbury, Ohio 43074 (USA). Feel free to email me or contact me on facebook, Redirecting...

Thanks again!

Also, I’d like to start with the project of adding LEDs to the stair treads. I have 15 steps, 36" wide. I might be able to get away with 30/m because they will be recessed behind the vinyl plank flooring that overlaps the bullnose edge of each stair tread. If not then I guess 60/m. What Led strip should I buy and from where? ws2812b 5v? ws2815 12v? I was also interested in an LED strip that is thinner than typical 5050s, like 2835 3528? If I go with 60 LEDs/m (3ftx15x60) then it will be 2700 LEDs - What power supply should I buy? Do I need to connect the power supply to both ends of the LEDS strip (one at bottom of stairs and one at top of stairs?)

I dropped you an email @gmail because I don’t Facebook. TL;DR: I made sure they are working, and shipping is like €10 (cheap, but more than the value of the Pi’s) so just send me your address and pass it on the next time someone needs a $10 favour.

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