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Lixie Labs

Pixie Chroma

Chainable RGB LED-matrix displays for Arduino

$16,950 raised

of $2,500 goal

678% Funded! Order Below

Funding ended on Jan 05, 2022 at 03:59 PM PST.

Recent Updates

You'll be notified about news and stock updates for this project.

Pixie Chroma Is the Display We Always Wanted

Pixie Chroma is a project that we here at Lixie Labs are incredibly passionate about! In this third iteration, we have finally created the best RGB text display we’ve ever used. While we loved our original Pixie models, we felt that you couldn’t get the same level of creativity that you can get with Pixie Chroma. With its ability to be dropped into any breadboard and coded with any experience level, these displays have a wide range of potential uses, meaning anybody in the maker community can find a use for them! Pixie Chroma is our gift to you.

Two Big New Features

Along with full RGB control, and an absolute UNIT of an Arduino Library, we are introducing two other big new features with this release: quad mode and shortcodes.

Introducing QUAD MODE

Quad mode is made specifically for those wishing to drive their displays faster. By optionally sending the data in four parallel streams with Quad Mode, you can expect to see a ~3.75x increase in speed! For example, if you had 12 Pixie Chromas, you can wire four GPIO of your microcontroller to the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th Pixie. Each GPIO is now only responsible for the data of three Pixie Chromas compared to only one GPIO feeding all 12. With this, you can run animations, scrolling, and color palettes more smoothly or free up processor time!

Introducing SHORTCODES

Our next big feature is Shortcodes, a super simple way to show icons beyond the alphanumeric ASCII set and easily create animations! We have an extensive library of 230+ built-in icons that are accessible by name within other strings. See the example above. Whether you want global currency symbols, weather states, schematic symbols, diacritics (àãåâä), or various mathematical typography such as pi, we probably have you covered. And, if we don’t, you can make your own with the magical Shortcode Editor.

Shortcode Editor

Our favorite part of these icons is how easy it is to make your own! With our online/offline editor, you can create any shape or image (so long as it fits in a 5x7 grid) and the editor will directly show the code that would print that shape!

This is one of the most creative outlets for cool display enthusiasts, since you can easily make custom frame-by-frame animations of your own! We are currently working on a way to create looping animations directly within the editor, and are excited to show it in an upcoming campaign update.

A New Standard for Arduino Libraries

We pride ourselves in how easy our products are to use. We have kept the wiring very simple, with only three wires connected to each breadboard-friendly display. Our code also has many examples that are explained line-by-line so that anybody can understand them. We include template Arduino Sketches to skip the parts newcomers find tedious, like #include directives and class definitions. Many advanced projects that even seasoned coders would find challenging are hassle-free with the Pixie Chroma library!

#include "Pixie_Chroma.h" // Include library
PixieChroma pix;
#define PIXIES_X  6  // Total amount and         x x x x x x
#define PIXIES_Y  2  // arrangement of Pixies =  x x x x x x

void setup() {
  pix.begin( 13, PIXIES_X, PIXIES_Y ); // ... Use Pin 13
  pix.color( CRGB::Blue ); // ............... Set color to blue

void loop() {
  pix.clear(); // ..................... Clear display
  pix.println( "Hello World!" ); // ... Write text on first row
  pix.print( millis() ); // ........... Write the value of millis() on the second row; // ...................... Show changes

Amazing Documentation

Pixie Chroma’s documentation is complete, accurate, and easy to understand. Each function in the library is fully documented and code examples are sprinkled liberally throughout.

Dedication to Our Craft

Lixie Labs is a homegrown business dedicated to furthering open source hardware and software in both the hobbyist and professional electronics industry. To this day, we still receive emails from customers asking us how to get their hands on products we no longer produce. Luckily, anybody can still create their own Lixies or even earlier versions of Pixies without us because we’ve left the entire process open for others. We hope to see all of our projects outlive us!

We are OSHWA certified (UID US002058), we’ve created an extensive datasheet, and every function within the library comes with documentation.

Features & Specifications


Pixie Chroma5x5 RGB Matrix BreakoutDot Star 8x8 Grid
Manufacturer Lixie Labs Pimoroni Adafruit
Size 30 mm x 24 mm 19 mm x 29 mm 25 mm x 36 mm
LED Count Dual 5x7 displays, 70 total Single 5x5 display, 25 total Single 8x8 display, 64 total
Pixels Per Inch10.16 PPI 7.25 PPI 8 PPI
Experience LevelAll Levels Intermediate Beginner
Open SourceHW + SW SW only HW + SW
Documented Code FunctionsYes No Yes
DatasheetYes No No
Quad Mode ¹Yes No (no parallel output)No (no parallel output)
Shortcodes ²Yes (239 included)N/A N/A
Breadboard CompatibleYes No No
Power Management FeaturesYes No No
Easy Text RenderingYes No No
Non Blocking AnimationYes No No
Predefined Color Palettes and AnimationsYes No No
Price Per LED$0.32 $0.49 $0.39

¹ Quad Mode allows you to update your displays faster by using four GPIO at once!
² Shortcodes like [:HEART:] let you use over 230 built-in icons by name and even create your own!

Support & Documentation

As you can see, Pixie Chroma is as easy or as advanced as you need. Luckily, you don’t need to dive into documentation to get started - the included examples (File -> Examples -> Pixie_Chroma) provide a template you can easily modify for your own projects.

For further information, you can check out our:

Everything is open source and available. Our source code has been fully documented and all PCB designs and parts used will be open and available:

If you have a question, please reach out using the Ask a technical question form.

Manufacturing Plan

Our manufacturing partner will be sourcing the LEDs and assembling the final product. The six header pins that come with each Pixie Chroma will be packaged separate from the boards themselves in order to reduce the chance of being damaged in transit.

Fulfillment & Logistics

Upon completion of the campaign, we will immediately proceed transferring funds to our manufacturing partner. Once Pixie Chromas and their packaging arrive at Lixie Labs, we will fully test every single LED on every single PCB to ensure they get to you working and ready to go! All Pixies will be packaged with a pinout card inside an ESD-safe bag. After testing and packaging the first production batch of Pixie Chroma boards, we will send them on to Crowd Supply’s fulfillment partner, Mouser Electronics, who will distribute them to backers worldwide with their professional fulfillment services. You can learn more about Crowd Supply’s fulfillment service under Ordering, Paying, and Shipping in their guide.

Risks & Challenges

As this campaign is being ran through the holidays, we expect to encounter shipping delays and are planning accordingly. We will use DHL to ship the product to us quickly and the most insured shipping plan to get the final product to Crowd Supply.

When placing 10,000+ LEDs, there are bound to be failures. That is why we are ordering 15% more than we need and testing every LED after it is placed on a board. Every board will undergo extensive testing with a custom-made jig that checks the correct operation of every LED and the electrical continuity of VCC, GND, and DAT_OUT pin.

In the Press

Geeky Gadgets

"Arduino enthusiasts interested in creating a changeable RGB LED matrix might be interested in the new Pixie Chroma displays created specifically for the Arduino platform by the engineers and development team over at Lixie Labs. "

Hackster News

"The Pixie CHROMA might be the most perfect Pixie yet!"

Solder Sesh/Alpenglow Industries logo

Solder Sesh Vlog

"We get a brief overview of how the Crowd Supply process works and we learn about some [Lixie Lab] future projects!"

Produced by Lixie Labs in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.

Pixie Chroma 2 pack

$45 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

Pixie Chroma 4 pack

$88 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

Pixie Chroma 6 pack!

$130 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

Pixie Chroma 10 pack!

$218 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

Early Bird! Pixie Chroma 2 pack

2 Pixies at a lower price!

$42 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

Early Bird! Pixie Chroma 10 pack

10 Pixies at a lower price!

$200 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Want to buy this item? Check the current project page for the latest information.

About the Team

Lixie Labs

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA  ·

Hardware hacking couple that loves to punish Arduinos!

See Also

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