Building a Smart LED Cube [v2]

At this point I’m assuming you’ve already seen my first LED Cube, cool but not cool enough. Esskeetit

So I wanted the LED Cube to be more powerful and fun to use, so I decided to make it with a goal in mind: to make it compatible with music and Alexa

So I decided on a design that would use shift register LEDs and an ESP8266 board so that I could control the bulbs using WLED and LEDfx.

It was to be a better 3 x 3 x 3 LED Cube with a minimal amount of parts

Part List:

After all of the parts came in I got to building.

So I started by researching how to connect all of the LEDs, The most tedious part was indeed soldering 27 LEDs together.

So to start the soldering you need to make 3 of the walls assembled as so:

The wall is constructed using 6 conductive vertical pieces of metal lined up with the grounds and negatives of each LED to create columns. These columns are soldered together with the Data out to the next over LED Data in

This took a while to figure out but I ended up using chicken wire that was straightened using a drill.

Repeat this process 2 more times and then you should have 3 walls.

Basically the circuit setup is each and every led connects to ground and power in parallel and then the Data in and outs are all connected in series.

Now I used longer Chicken wire than the pictures, making my cube a lot bigger, but It helped make the soldering a bit easier.

Once I completed the soldering of the cube it became very easy to continue.

Make sure all of the Ground and Powers meet at 2 separate single connections and the Data in of the very first LED is connectable

Now you’ll need an ESP8266 Node MCU board

I would recommend flashing before connecting the board as it is easier.

First connect you Node MCU to a windows computer, might be possible with MacOS but I had problems flashing it at first.

Once connected, Flash the Board with WLED

Click here to download the ESPHome-Flasher Software

Click here to download the WLED software

Setting up WLED is actually quite simple:

Connect to the access point WLED that should appear after WLED is flashed on the board with password ‘wled1234’

Once connected you should be brought to a page or go in your browser and search the IP address ‘’

Now you have a choice: Make the LED Cube available on the network for Alexa and other devices to control or use them locally only which could be faster setup but less possible functionality

Im going to assume you want the extra functionality by setting up the Wireless, in which case go into the WiFi settings on this dashboard

Enter your Network SSID, WIFI password, and then change the mDNS to something easier to remember

Enter your network that you’d like your LEDs to connect to and then change the mDNS address to something easier to remember like ‘ledcube’

The WLED app will only be able to communicate with the LEDs on the same network unless you make changes via a third party like the Alexa app.

Once you’ve done the above, click ‘Save & Connect’ and now your NodeMCU should be able to connect to your network that you are on

At this point your NodeMCU is flashed with the WLED software and should be able to connect to your network automatically upon being powered. If you power your NodeMCU and go to the mDNS domain you setup above

ie: https://ledcube.local

Then your WLED dashboard should appear, if your mDNS domain isn’t working then you are having WiFi issues and that likely is your SSID or password or maybe access point issues.

The last thing you will need to do software wise is in the dashboard, go to the LED settings and enter the number of LEDs in the cube, in this case there will be 27 LEDs.

As far as power requirements, it needs about 3A per 50 LEDs so the board should be able to power it fine.

Once this is done, it’s time to connect the board to the cube.

The connections are shown here:

Once your board is connected to the LED Cube, every LED should be powered with the control of the lights on the dashboard or in the WLED App

Once this is done the LED is ready to be set up with music!

To do this we just need one single library but this can be difficult to install so I’ll walk you through it:

Music Visualization

Difficulty: Medium

So you love your LED Cube but want it to dance!

Well you did all the heavy lifting so now we just need to setup LEDFX to communicate with your LEDs

So assuming you have a windows computer, well need an Anaconda Environment so go get Anaconda:

Anaconda Python/R Distribution — Free Download

I recommend the Python 3.7 version and then we install it fully.

Any issues with Anaconda aren’t going to be covered in this because it very based on your operating system

Once installed and setup, open Anaconda Navigator:

Now go to Environments and open a terminal:

Now that we have a command line open, run these commands :

conda create -n ledfx python=3.6
conda activate ledfx

Install LedFx and all the dependencies using pip and the conda package manager

conda config --add channels conda-forge
conda install aubio portaudio pywin32
pip install ledfx

Now everything is installed! just run:

ledfx --open-ui

A local Website will open that looks like:

Now you’re all set! The LED Cube is all setup and can dance to music! I may add to this article down the road but for now this is where the project sits.


I did not find this out myself so it’s important I site my references and maybe



Getting Started With WLED on ESP8266

Thank you again for reading and enjoying this journey with me!

Buy me coffee?



Need 100 followers to continue writing

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store