Dave Lights Up His Garage with ESP32s and 16,000 RGB LEDs

Dave, of the aptly-named Dave’s Garage YouTube channel, is a man of simple tastes. He loves his dog, his cars, and his garage. In that…

Cameron Coward
9 months agoArt

Dave, of the aptly-named Dave’s Garage YouTube channel, is a man of simple tastes. He loves his dog, his cars, and his garage. In that garage, he has a Range Rover, a classic Pontiac GTO, a Chevy C10, and at least one other mystery car (maybe a Jeep Grand Cherokee? Let me know, car enthusiasts!). All of that horsepower deserves an appropriately over-the-top garage, which Dave accomplished with a mere 16,000 RGB LEDs.

As you can see in the video, Dave’s massive garage has been absolutely crammed full of LEDs. Those appear to be generic WS2812B individually-addressable RGB LEDs — what most people refer to by Adafruit’s “NeoPixel” brand name. But, powering and controlling 16,000 animated RGB LEDs is no small feat, which is why Dave turned to the humble ESP32.

Specifically, Dave used a number of ESP32 boards from Heltec. Dave doesn’t say exactly how many ESP32 boards he used, but he did mention that each board can handle up to 1,000 of the LEDs. So, presumably, he used at least 16 of them. Those are all coordinated by a PC, which treats the LEDs like a display with a resolution of 16,000x1 pixels. That many LEDs obviously consume a lot of power, and Dave used a number of different power supplies depending on how much current each section of LEDs uses. You probably can’t afford Dave’s car collection, but you could still follow his lead and dress up your garage with some LEDs!

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