Library for the WS2812 LED Driver. Uses bit banging and nops for precise timing. Number of nops executed are configurable at run time.

Dependents:   WS2812_Example WS2812_Example_fade Lamp_03 Lamp_04 ... more

This library uses bit banging to control the LED strip. Because the mbed platform doesn't have a timer standardized that doesn't have a resolution lower a microsecond, we have to use NOPs. Also, the time it takes to toggle a GPIO pin is not consistent across platforms and it does not correlate to the system clock in any way. It is completely dependent on the platform's implementation.

I have a found the timings for a few boards. They are currently listed on the example program page below.

Import programWS2812_Example

Example for WS2812 Library

When using this on a new platform, you'll need to use a logic analyzer to determine the timings.


Above is a screenshot from a Saleae logic analyzer. You'll notice that the "1" pulse is longer than the "0" pulse. The "Data low" pulses should be consistent. The timing requirements for these pulses can be found below (Source:


If you find timings for a new board you're using, please PM me or start a discussion below and I'll add it to this page!

For more on the timings and data format of the WS2812 drivers, you should read the datasheet and the article "NeoPixels Revealed: How to (not need to) generate precisely timed signals" listed below.


WS2812B Datasheet:

"NeoPixels Revealed: How to (not need to) generate precisely timed signals":