Getting Started with Smart LEDs Workshop

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Getting Started with Smart LEDs Workshop

This workshop is now sold out. Browse our other upcoming workshops here!

Join us for a hands-on workshop where you’ll learn the basics of working with Neopixel color-changing LEDs.

Led by light artist and educator Jonathan Foote, you’ll discover the endless creative potential of these versatile tools, from crafting mesmerizing art installations and vibrant display panels to designing custom light-up signs, wearables, costumes, dynamic decorations, and anything else you can think of!

Jonathan, who currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the California College for the Arts in the Interaction Design department, will start by introducing you to the basics of LED setup. From there, you’ll learn to control your creations using Python, Arduino C++, or opt for a straightforward no-code approach with WLED. Beyond the technical skills, this workshop will introduce you to color theory and light perception, to help your projects convey a powerful visual narrative.

No prior experience needed! This 2-day in-person workshop is designed for learners at all levels, providing all the necessary materials.

Course Logistics

Dates: Tuesday, April 30, 2024 and Thursday, May 2, 2024

Times: 6-9PM PST

Cost: $195 for two-day workshop, materials are included in the cost
We also offer Scholarships. Apply by April 15, 2024.

In-Person Workshop

Gray Area / Grand Theater
2665 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Experience Level:
Beginner to intermediate


  • Bring a laptop with a USB-A port or adapter
  • Beginners can get a headstart learning CircuitPython by installing “Mu” https://codewith.mu/

Additional Information:
• No Refunds or Exchanges.
• View our FAQ here.
• Contact [email protected] with any questions.

Workshop Outline

Day 1

  • Introductions, Neopixel basics
  • Explanations of control options and getting started with coding
  • Hands-on demonstration code working

Day 2

  • Color theory and perception
  • Hardware and power considerations
  • Hands-on programming, DIY soldering, and next steps

About Technologies

In this course, we will be using Adafruit’s “Neopixel”, a type of individually addressable LEDs. You will learn how you control the LEDs using a combination of Circuit Python, Arduino hardware, and WLED boards for a no-coding experience.

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Jonathan has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, and has been working with light since blue LEDs were a rarity. Jonathan is an Adjunct Professor at California College for the Arts in the Interaction Design department, and has a long teaching resume including a Presidential Teaching Award from Brown University. He was also an Autodesk Pier 9 Artist-in-Residence and a Fellow at Stochastic Labs. He can be found at @[email protected] as well as @rrmutt on Instagram