Build an MQTT based RGB LED panel! // Project


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This quick project shows you how to build an MQTT controlled RGB LED matrix panel in under 30 minutes, but I reckon it should take you a lot less. Continue reading Build an MQTT based RGB LED panel! // Project


Dear Mick,

Your RGB LED panel project is really impressive.
I hope I could try to make this MQTT controlled RGB LED MATRIX panel. But before that, I would like to ask you something.

There are some ways to use RGB LED panel.

A. Adafruit RGB Matrix HAT + RTC for Raspberry Pi
B. Raspberry PI zero + zero Pi HAT
C. Adafruit RGB LED matrix, teensy 2.0++, bluesmirf gold, 5v8a UBEC, 5000mah lipo battery (

How do you think which one is the best way to use what if I would like to make something to communicate with music, images, data, etc?

I knew that it is very complicated.
So I will give some examples.

Option1. I would like to send some images, text with smart phone application in a room about 1,000 square feet.
Option2. I would like to send images, text with my computer to RGB LED PANEL based on your MQTT project.

Please, give me your advice.
Thank you in advance!
Hopefully, help me to build this great project.

Best regards,


Hey Clara,
The two ways you suggested are pretty much the only two ways. Communication via Bluetooth or WiFi.
Using a Teensy should be easy to implement, but the smartphone app would be a bit more difficult. There’s no reason why you couldn’t run MQTT on the Teensy as well, that’d simplify the setup.

If you wanted to change the display with music; ie show album cover, then it’d be easier with a Pi as the limited memory space of the Teensy would be a problem.

What did you want to display?


Dear kind Mick,

I am so appreciated to your fast answer.

Actually, I would like to make some RGB LED display projects.

Project 1. Song list RGB LED display

Our worship team sing 4 songs every Sunday and sometimes we do 5 songs.
I would like to communicate with Song list RGB LED display

Project2. Short Cartoon Display like PEANUTS

Sometimes, whenever I feel nervous, I would like to watch short cartoon with LED display. Specifically , I love Charles Schulz’s and his philosophical dog Snoopy. Recently, I bought some books!

From the beginning, I will make your project one by one and then I will try to do and research my works.

Thank you for your magnificent project sharing always.

P.S/ And I like your humour :))
Have a wonderful day.

Best regards,


Hi Clara,
In that case I would use a Pi Zero. I’m gathering that you have someone up the back who manages the lyrics for the congregation? They could also control the LED panel and update the song title.


It’s conceivable, in this scenario, that the panels might be fixed in place, so ethernet (i.e. copper) wiring might also be used (with a suitable Pi).

This might even be a more desirable solution in this environment as Wi-Fi & Bluetooth devices can suffer much more from interference than a wired solution. (Don’t forget that several people in the congregation may, unwittingly, leave there phones turned on as hotspots which can then cause some interference)


Dear Mick,

It has been a long journey to me. But today, I have seen a light of my life. Because, I could see red light in my LED RGB PANEL! Though it was kept on lighting only for 10 seconds and then it disappeared.

I chose Raspberry pie 3 instead of zero.

Now I am checking what is the problem.

Most of all, I think that I have finished my first Raspberry coding successfully until now. I installed programs from Rasbian to vim by myself and followed up your whole manual one by one. Sometimes, I made some mistakes back and forth. But finally, I did it. And also, I did my best to solder to make it perfect.

I soldered 40 GPIO pins, cable socket and connected GPIO 4 to 18 ,too.

Hopefully, I could see the light tonight in my LED RGB PANEL.

With warmest regards,
Clara Kim


Hi Clara,
Great to see!
It can be a bit of a learning curve, but you’ll get there. Would be great to see it running once you get it all installed.



Finally , it is getting started to work!
Thank you, Mick!

Now I will try to do more right now.

With warmest regards,


Nice to hear! Looks like you’ve got past all the hard bits.


Dear Mick,

Thanks for your cheerful message.
I was really happy to get it!

By the way,
I would like to change the image.
How can I do that?

And now, in my LED panel, only the part of the blue guy and the clock is lightening. What do I have the change for it? I thnk that the resolution is different from Raspberry pie3 and zero.

I am keeping watching on your youtube.
Those are really Great Projects!