Using ESP-01S NeoPixel Kit with WLED


In this tutorial, we will guide you through the utilization of the Lonely Binary ESP-01S NeoPixel Kit in conjunction with the WLED project. The WLED project is built upon the renowned FastLED library and EAPAsyncWebServer, providing a swift and feature-rich ESP8266/ESP32 web server solution for the control of NeoPixel LEDs (including WS2812B, WS2811, SK6812) and SPI-based chipsets such as WS2801 and APA102.

With WLED, configuring your LED network to seamlessly integrate with your local Wi-Fi network is a breeze. It offers a web-based control panel and extends its user-friendliness to Android and iPhone applications. This tutorial will walk you through the process of harnessing the power of the Lonely Binary ESP-01S NeoPixel Kit in conjunction with the WLED project, providing you with comprehensive control over your NeoPixel LEDs with ease.

You are not bound to using the Arduino IDE for compiling the source code. WLED offers pre-compiled binary files that can be directly loaded onto your ESP-01S. To achieve this, we'll make use of the renowned esptool for uploading the binary file.

Step 1: The initial step is ensuring that esptool is available on your MacBook. Open your MacBook's terminal.Execute the following command to install esptool. If you don't have Python, you'll need to install Python first.

python3 -m pip install --upgrade pip
python3 -m pip install esptool
python3 -m esptool

Step 2: You'll need to download the binary file from the following link: Ensure that the downloaded file has the "ESP01.bin" extension, and it should follow the format "WLED_xxxxx_ESP01.bin."

Step 3: Insert the ESP-01S into the Lonely Binary ESP-01S Type-C Programmer. Switch it to upload mode and connect it to your MacBook. Run the provided command in your terminal to confirm that it's functioning properly. If you encounter any issues or don't see the device, you may need to install the WCH CH340 USB to Serial driver beforehand. In this case, the USB tty port is /dev/tty.wchusbserial140

ls /dev/tty.*

Step 4: Now, it's time to upload the binary file to your ESP-01S using the following command.

cd ~/Downloads
python3 -m esptool write_flash 0x0 ./WLED_0.14.0_ESP01.bin
If you reflash the WLED with above command. The old WIFI settings will still be in flash. You can use the following command to erase the whole flash memory before reflash the WLED.
python3 -m esptool erase_flash

Step 5: After the ESP-01S reboots, you should be able to locate the WLED-AP access point, and the password is "wled1234." Open your web browser and navigate to You will then have access to the control panel.

Step 6:In the settings page, ensure that button 1 is not in use and free up the GPIO0 and assign GPIO0 to the Neopixel Strip while limiting the current to 500mA. Your setup is now complete. If you wish to integrate the ESP-01S into your existing wireless network, you can edit the network configuration in the Wi-Fi settings. Don't worry if you accidentally enter the wrong SSID and password. The ESP-01S will restart the WLED-AP, allowing you to enter the correct information again.

Now, the challenge is to obtain the IP address. You have two options: either log in to your router and check the client list or download the WLED app on your iPhone. Launch the WLED app, click the refresh button, and it will automatically detect the ESP-01S with WLED on your local network.

Please be aware that the Lonely Binary ESP-01S base board is equipped with two overcurrent protection PTCs, each rated at 500mA. When used together, these PTCs can offer protection up to 1A. Considering that the ESP-01S module itself consumes approximately 100-200mA, it is advisable to limit the current consumption for WLED to 500mA. For safety reasons, if the circuit's current consumption exceeds 1A, the PTCs will overheat and interrupt the circuit. In the event that your Neopixel Stripe requires a current greater than 1A, you have the option to remove both PTCs and substitute them with 0-ohm resistors or metal pins to create a direct connection. However, it is crucial to ensure that the power adapter you use matches the current requirements of the Neopixel Stripe.

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