CheerLights with Arduino and the FastLED Library

CheerLights is a global network of interconnected lights. They all display the same color that is set by Twitter. To control CheerLights, send a Tweet to @cheerlights and mention a color name, and all of the lights change to that color. In this tutorial, we are going to use an Arduino with an Ethernet Shield to read in the latest CheerLights Color using the ThingSpeak API and then display the color on an RGB-123 Light.


  • Arduino Uno with Network Connectivity (Wi-Fi or Ethernet)
  • FastLED compatible RGB Light (Neopixels, RGB-123, etc.)


  • Connect Arduino to your network
  • Connect the RGB-123 1×8 LED Matrix to 5v, GND, and Digital Output Pin 6

Setup the Arduino 1.0+ IDE

  • Download the latest FastLED Library
  • Unzip and rename it to FastLED
  • Move the FastLED folder to Arduino/libraries
  • Run the Arduino IDE

Upload FastLED/Arduino Sketch to Arduino

  • Specify the Arduino Board and Serial Port
  • Copy the FastLED/Arduino Sketch into the Arduino IDE
  • Define NUM_LEDS (8) and DATA_PIN (6)
  • Upload sketch to Arduino


  • Make sure the number of LEDs (NUM_LEDS) is specified correctly
  • Make sure the Digital Output Pin (DATA_PIN) is specified correctly


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