A review about RGB Matrix Shield

A review about RGB Matrix Shield

Hello, everyone,  did you remember the previous blog recruit reviewers, providing free samples to recruit reviewers to perform product test and share their efforts with every member in the open hardware community, aiming to abide by "open" spirit, helping more people in operation. Believe that many friends were impressed by the Review About Freaduino and Redboard From Sparkfun , today we would  release another review about  RGB Matrix Shield, also by Wilhelm, Mathias and if you like it, purchase from here.


The shield comes at a remarkable low price and the matching Matrix is available at a discount when ordered with the shield. When unpacking, the matrix as well as the shield look well produced and far from cheap. If you follow the temptation to detach the matrix from the shield, be careful to put the matrix back in the correct order! There is a small "1" label next to one of the pins and this has to fit the "1" lable of the shield. Putting the matrix in the wrong way may (or will) destroy the LEDs.

The shield comes with some demo code, that I modifed to fix some issues with the code. RGB was accidentially programmed BGR and I cleaned out the code to make it a bit more readable. The sketch only needs the standard wire library, so the coed should work right away. My demo code displays the following:

  • full white, red, green and blue matrix for 10 seconds each
  • go through 512 steps from red to blue pixel by pixel
  • go through 8192 steps from red to blue for the full matrix (make it glow)
  • display the font set in changing color
  • display a scrolling text

I used the first four matrix presentation to measure the power consumption on the USB port:

  • Color Power drawn 
  • White 230-240 mA 
  • Red 110-120 mA 
  • Green 140-150 mA 
  • Blue 180-190 mA 


The matrix and the shield is a real beauty. The matrix is bright and works remarkably fast. The programming is easy and I was able to quickly get nice color effects. I recommend this matrix to anyone starting with Arduino as it is a bargain and leads quickly to impressive results!