To get you up and running quickly, the Plasma Stick 2040 W is preloaded with Pimoroni’s own brand of MicroPython firmware, complete with a fair few example programs, including fire, rainbow, snow, and sparkle effects. These can easily be adapted to suit the number of LEDs in your strip. Alternatively you can code in C/C++, or flash Pico W with CircuitPython to make use of Adafruit’s LED Animation library.
The MicroPython code examples are based around Pimoroni’s Plasma library, as used for the firm’s Plasma 2040 controller – although unlike that board, the Plasma Stick can’t be used with DotStar/APA102 LEDs. The colour of individual LEDs can be set using RGB or HSV, along with the overall brightness level.
Just connect to a computer via USB to power the Plasma Stick’s Pico W and run/edit the code. As usual, to get a program to run automatically on boot-up, save it as main.py and then connect a standard USB power source, such as a power bank.
Pico W’s Wi-Fi connectivity adds extra possibilities for your lighting projects. Code examples include responding to the current Cheerlights colour (see @cheerlights on Twitter) or weather conditions sourced from the web. You can also take readings from any sensor attached to the Plasma Stick’s Qwiic/STEMMA QT port.
While you could always use a plain Pico W to control LED strips, the Plasma Stick makes it simpler and has the bonus of a Qwiic/STEMMA QT port and reset button.
Features: 3 × screw terminals (5 V, ground, data), reset button, Qwiic/STEMMA QT port
Dimensions: 67 × 22 × 12 mm