View Full Version : BlinkM Programmable LEDs + Arduino!

02-24-2009, 03:30 AM
BlinkM's are Microcontrolled RGB LEDs.


You can view the BlinkM datasheet Here (http://thingm.com/fileadmin/thingm/downloads/BlinkM_datasheet.pdf).

They allow you to create lighting patterns, sequences, with added effects.
You can program BlinkM's to be any color, and blink and fade in virtually any pattern.
They sport a 8000 mcd 140º full-color RGB LED w/ 24-bit color control, and operate on the 3v-5vdc range.

One Arduino USB (http://thingm.com/products/blinkm/quick-start-guide.html) board is required to communicate with the BlinkMs.


A maximum of 127 BlinkMs can be connected togethor.
BlinkM's have assignable addresses. You can program each BlinkM individually or address them all simultaneously.

A total of 18 Built in light scripts, are included.
You can create your own custom light script up to 49 commands long.

Below are all commands recognized by BlinkM, along with how many arguments they take, the
return values they produce, and a command format overview.


“cmd char” is the command byte in ASCII character form.
The character is chosen to be mnemonic of the command’s function.

“cmd byte” column is the actual byte value of the ASCII character value sent over the wire.
The command “format” listed on the right edge resembles a byte array used in Java, C, and Arduino. The layout of a command that can also be copied almost verbatim and used as code.

In stand-alone mode, there are 48 maximum number of light script actions in a light script.
The longest duration of any light script is 48*255*(1/30)= 408 seconds = 6.8 minutes.

The BlinkM sequencer software can be used to select virtually any color,
however it lacks the ability to make minute adjustments to the timing, and sequence.


My intention is to write my own BlinkM script with the BlinkMScriptTool, load it onto the device,
and enjoy my own custom lighting effects. The problem is I am not sure If I have included all
of the necessary commands needed to execute the script on a standalone BlinkM.

My BlinkM Practice Script:

{ // dur, cmd, arg1,arg2,arg3

Basic RGB and Fade Time.

{ 1, {'f', 20,0x00,0x00}}, // set color_step (fade speed) to 20
{ 100, {'c', 0x00,0x00,0xff}}, // color blue
{ 100, {'c', 0xff,0x00,0x00}}, // color red
{ 100, {'c', 0x00,0xff,0x00}}, // color green
{ 55, {'c', 0x33,0x00,0xff}}, // color blueish purple

Basic HSB Hue Adjustment.
RGB and HSB - Color, Lightness, Darkness

{ 100, {'h', 64,0x00,0xff}}, // color bright yellow
{ 100, {'h', 125,0x00,0x00}}, // color light blue
{ 100, {'h', 255,0xff,0xff}}, // color white

Set RGB Color:

{ 55, {'n', 0x00,0x00,0xff}}, // color red
{ 100, {'n', 0xff,0x00,0xff}}, // color purple

RGB and HSB:
Color, Lightness, Darkness

02-24-2009, 07:49 PM
Sounds cool, I"ll have to look into these little things!

02-26-2009, 02:01 AM
Those things are expensive, but they look cool as hell!

04-03-2009, 01:13 PM
Now, the only question is what to use them for. They are a little to bright to be used as internal case lighting.
The only place I can think to use them would be in a bookshelf, a under a desk, or used as accent lighting in your home.