LEDs are obviously a hugely popular component, and the vast majority of projects use at least one. But, despite that popularity, we still have to put a lot of effort into improving their aesthetics. A bare LED looks kind of sad, and so we cover them in translucent material to try and diffuse the light, or hide them behind pinholes that only let a little light through. The new Digital Sparkle Swarovski crystal LEDs, on the other hand, are intended to be displayed just how they are.
Digital Sparkle recently launched on Kickstarter, and it’s a product that should add a little bit of designer flair to your projects. Digital Sparkle comes in either single PCB-friendly units, or on strips. Each unit has an RGB LED inside, and a Swarovski crystal glued to the top. The crystal hides the ugly LED underneath, helps diffuse the light, and creates a nifty sparkling effect through its facets. Basically, they’re decorative LEDs that are particularly suited to wearables.
The LEDs themselves are based on the incredibly popular WS2812B LEDs, which are often referred to by Adafruit’s NeoPixel brand name. They’re a very well-supported type of LED that are individually-addressable, so you can individually control every LED in a chain with a single wire from a microcontroller. They’re compatible with a wide range of microcontrollers, including the maker-favorite Arduino, and should be easy to use on your next project.