Review: Chroma LED Driver

In some situations we want to light up our quads to make them more visible, such as in races or night flying. Chroma LED driver was created as an easy solution for powering LED’s and controlling the colour.

The Chroma LED driver is developed by Brett Collis and Matthew Evans – well known British FPV pilots. More info can be found on Korekoncept.co.uk. This review is written by Artur Banach.

Overview

This tiny board can power and control programmable LED’s. The package comes with LED driver, LED lights and 30AWG red, black and yellow wires.

The LED driver is a small board (26 x 15mm and weights 3.8g). There are solder pads, and 4 pins for flashing,control button. There is a voltage regulator on the back.

It can take up to 4S voltage and the voltage regulator outputs 5V to the LED lights (current rated for 50 LED’s). It has 9 colours and 5 modes in total. The driver can control up to 25 LED’s.

The LED strip consists of 24 single LEDs and can be cut into sections so you can install them under the arms of your mini quad. Small arrow indicates the lights connection direction.

LED Driver is almost half of the size of Arduino Nano.

Installation

On the left of the LED driver, P+ and P- are the input power from LiPo battery. On the right, Pad 1 is the data output (signal) to LED strip, while + and – are the 5V output to the LED strip. Pads 2 and 3 are for the future expansion. The 4 Pin holes on top are for programming and firmware flashing.

Connection and soldering is very simple.

I installed it on my QAV-X frame I was building recently. I placed the driver at the back of the quad to have easy access to the control button.

TIP: Best to use Gorilla Tape 3044701 to fit the LED to the underside of arms

 

Modes and colours

By pressing the control button we can scroll through these modes and colours, and choose how many LED we want to use.

Chroma LED driver has 6 modes:

  • Line
  • Faster line
  • Thruster
  • Solid
  • Glitter
  • Off

Available colours are:

  • rainbow
  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • green
  • blue
  • pink
  • purple
  • white

Hold down the button for around 2.5 seconds to enter the LED count menu, where you can choose how many LED you want to use. Short press the button for 0.5 second to add a LED.

If button is pressed for 1 second, driver enters into effect menu. Pressing the button for another second changes the effect.

Here is the operation flow chart which explains how the button pressing works. For more info, Brett explained this procedure in his video on Youtube

Conclusion

I like the Chroma LED driver because

  • External LED programmer which is independent of flight controller
  • Many colors available to choose from
  • Many modes available to choose from
  • Small size and light weight

However, soldering 3 wires from each LED onto the board may be difficult if done without the harness.

I tried all different modes and so far my favourite is the glitter :) Just something unusual, making my quad to stand out in the race! Definitely a great addition the mini quads. I would recommend it if you are looking for simple, standalone LED solution.

2 thoughts on “Review: Chroma LED Driver

    1. Oscar Post author

      If each LED draws 20mA, 25 of them is about 500mA = 0.5A. While your mini quad motors can draw 80A…
      So I don’t think it’s that noticeable :)

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you Robot? *

I only check blog comments once or twice a week, if you want a quick reply you can post your question on this forum IntoFPV.com... You might get a faster response from me there (multirotor related only).