7-Segment displays are one of the most basic ways to output numerical data from a computer to humans. They come in a variety of flavors, from LED to LCD and more, but the basic premise is that one light equals one “slash” of a number or other character. Now, with the advent of cheap WS2812B RGB LEDs (aka NeoPixels), Cyber City Circuits has come up with a new take on this venerable design—a 7-segment display using 21 RGB LEDs.
The idea is that 3 NeoPixels form each segment, allowing for control over the lighting and character shape well beyond what you’d expect from normal displays. These PCBs come assembled, with 4-pin headers that you can solder on for breadboard connections. They feature digital in and digital out pins, so you can daisy chain several together for multi-character displays.
The display is shown in the video below, cycling through different digits. One could also see it being used with all kinds of creative number patterns, perhaps fading colors from top to bottom, or having the pixels chase each other:
If 27 LEDs in 2 dimensions isn’t enough for you, then check out this 512 LED AuraCube. It’s certainly a challenging build, but the results are truly epic.