LED strip with Pi4J and JBang

2022-11-28, by Robert von Burg


In an earlier post, JBang and Pi4J were used to control a LED and button connected to a Raspberry Pi.

This week Robert von Burg, one of the main contributors of the Pi4J project, shared on Mastodon another project where a LED strip is controlled via I2C.

This is the result, notice the Foojay.io startup artwork 😉


The Raspberry Pi in the video is attached to a custom PCB used by Robert in medical cabinets.

This PCB contains a few different connectors:

  • An 8 port I2C multiplexer for connecting up to 8 additional I2C devices, thus nesting I2C buses.
  • An 8 port 1-Wire over I2C bridge to connect 8 1-Wire buses over I2C.
  • In the middle of the board is an extension of the Raspberry Pi’s I2C bus.
  • The LED strip itself is connected to a custom PCB with a PIC16F18344 from Microchip. This chips firmware communicates with the LED, allowing to be configured over I2C.

For a simple Raspberry Pi-only setup, connect the wires of the LED strip to:

In this case, make sure to only use a short LED strip, as the board can not provide enough power for a large number of LEDs.


As this is a JBang project, all the dependencies and code are combined into one single file.

The structure of this file is:

. “Trick” the system to run this file with JBang using the comment in the first line . Tell JBang which dependencies are needed with the //DEPS … comment lines . And the rest is just a normal Java class

///usr/bin/env jbang "$0" "$@" ; exit $?
//DEPS org.slf4j:slf4j-api:2.0.3
//DEPS org.slf4j:slf4j-simple:2.0.3
//DEPS com.github.lalyos:jfiglet:0.0.8
//DEPS com.pi4j:pi4j-core:2.2.1
//DEPS com.pi4j:pi4j-plugin-raspberrypi:2.2.1
//DEPS com.pi4j:pi4j-plugin-pigpio:2.2.1
//DEPS com.pi4j:pi4j-plugin-linuxfs:2.2.1
import com.github.lalyos.jfiglet.FigletFont;
import com.pi4j.Pi4J;
import com.pi4j.context.Context;
import com.pi4j.io.i2c.I2C;
import com.pi4j.io.i2c.I2CConfig;
import com.pi4j.io.i2c.I2CProvider;
class LedStrip {

    static final byte ADDR_LED_STRIP = 0x48;
    static final byte CMD_COLOR = 0x01;
    static final byte CMD_CONTRAST = 0x02;
    static final byte CMD_PATTERN = 0x03;
    static final byte CMD_PTR_GRB_LED_1 = 0x10;
    static final byte CMD_PTR_GRB_LED_2 = 0x13;
    static final byte CMD_PTR_GRB_LED_3 = 0x16;
    static final byte CMD_PTR_GRB_LED_4 = 0x19;
    static final byte PATTERN_ON = (byte) 0xFF;
    static final byte PATTERN_OFF = 0x00;
    static final byte PATTERN_BLINK_1S = (byte) 0xAA;
    static final byte PATTERN_BLINK_2S = (byte) 0xCC;
    static final byte PATTERN_BLINK_4S = (byte) 0xF0;
    static final byte COL_A_AZURE = 0x41;
    static final byte COL_B_BLUE = 0x42;
    static final byte COL_C_CYAN = 0x43;
    static final byte COL_D_DARK = 0x44;
    static final byte COL_F_FUSCHIA = 0x46;
    static final byte COL_G_GREEN = 0x47;
    static final byte COL_L_LIME = 0x4C;
    static final byte COL_M_MAGENTA = 0x4D;
    static final byte COL_O_ORANGE = 0x4F;
    static final byte COL_R_RED = 0x52;
    static final byte COL_S_SPRING = 0x53;
    static final byte COL_V_VIOLET = 0x56;
    static final byte COL_W_WHITE = 0x57;
    static final byte COL_Y_YELLOW = 0x59;
                                COL_R_RED, COL_S_SPRING, COL_V_VIOLET, COL_W_WHITE, COL_Y_YELLOW};
    public static void main(String... args) throws Exception {
        System.out.println(FigletFont.convertOneLine("Hello foojay.io!"));
        Context pi4j = Pi4J.newAutoContext();
        I2CProvider i2CProvider = pi4j.provider("linuxfs-i2c");
        I2CConfig i2cConfig = I2C.newConfigBuilder(pi4j).bus(1).device(0x48).build();
        try (I2C ledStrip = i2CProvider.create(i2cConfig)) {
            ledStrip.writeRegister(CMD_COLOR, COL_W_WHITE);
            ledStrip.writeRegister(CMD_CONTRAST, 0x50);
            ledStrip.writeRegister(CMD_PATTERN, PATTERN_ON);
            // cycle all colors
            int green = 0;
            int red = 0;
            int blue = 0;
            while(true) {
                if (red < 254) {
                } else if (green < 254) {
                } else if (blue < 254) {
                } else {
                ledStrip.writeRegister(CMD_PTR_GRB_LED_2, new byte[] {(byte) green, (byte) red, (byte) blue});
            // turn all off
            ledStrip.writeRegister(CMD_PATTERN, PATTERN_OFF);


The Raspberry Pi, Pi4J and JBang are a perfect combination to experiment with electronics! Give it a try!!!