After lurking here for a while, I’m going to start my first project with an ESP32 and a 18×16 LED matrix plus 60 extra LEDs (based on WS2812b strips) – a ‘Word Clock’ with a 60 LED ambient light border (or seconds display…).

From what I’ve read lately I should use the RMT driver on an ESP32 if I want to do Wifi and that supports 8 channels by default?

According to Mark Merlin amazing blog, I should even be able to receive IR signals too then (which uses one RMT channel?)?

I’m also thinking about adding an i2c RTC…

Since I have no experience with FastLED and it’s parallel output yet (or ESP32 for that matter :)), I wonder if the strips have to be of the same length.

Right now I am thinking of doing 4 channels each driving 4 rows a 18 LEDs (72 LEDs) for the main matrix plus 1 for the 60 LEDs for the ambilight. Having the strips in rows would make selecting the ‘words’ easier. Total: 5 channels

Another option is rotate the strips 90 and do 6 channels with 3 columns a 16 LEDs (48 LEDs) each. Plus 1 channel for the 60 ambient LEDs as above. Total: 7 channels.

I think I’m going for the first because of the easier ‘word selection’ (word starts at LED X and is Y LEDs long).

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