💡 A Raspberry Pi-based web GUI controller for WS281x programmable LED strips 🎄
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A Raspberry Pi-based web GUI controller for WS281x programmable LED strips.

Getting Started

These instructions will get you a copy of the project up and running on your Raspberry Pi (RPI).


This project requires the following hardware:

  1. RPI with Raspbian
  2. Neopixel-supported LED array (I used https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B4UKG2W/)

Follow this guide for how to wire the RPI and LEDs and how to install the prerequisite neopixel software: https://learn.adafruit.com/neopixels-on-raspberry-pi/software

You can check if prereqs have been correctly completed by running the following inside the rpi_ws281x/python/examples directory. More configuration information here: https://learn.adafruit.com/neopixels-on-raspberry-pi/software#strandtest-example

sudo python strandtest.py


To set up PiLights on your RPI, first clone down the project. You may want to change directory if your terminal window is still in some rpi_ws281x/ subdirectory (e.g. by running cd /home/pi).

git clone https://github.com/beekley/PiLights.git

Next, update the hardware.py file with your hardware configuration, according to the neopixel config link from the prerequisite section.

cd PiLights
nano hardware.py

Finally, start the server.

sudo python3 server_new.py

The web GUI should be available at:


Note: on non-apple/linux devices, you may need to use the IP address of the RPI instead of the hostname (e.g.

Running the service automatically on boot

The PiLights service can be run as a daemon that starts with on boot of the RPI and restarts on crash. To set this up, copy the pilights.service file to systemd and enable the service.

sudo cp pilights.service /etc/systemd/system/pilights.service
sudo systemctl enable pilights.service

More information is available on the RPI documentation: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/linux/usage/systemd.md

Next Steps

  • Clean up references to *_new files and remove old files
  • Pass parameters from frontend to backend (e.g. set LED color from GUI)
  • Turn lights off from frontend
  • Clear the queue from the frontend
  • Dockerize the app
  • Load list of patterns and their descriptions from backend to frontend


PRs/issues/suggestions are encouraged and appreciated! This project was completed as part of the Day9 30 day challenge.