Correct pins for APA102 LEDs on ESP8266

Please let me share some insights on how to configure WLED on an ESP8266 with APA102 LEDs connected.

I am not an expert, but thanks to awawa-dev (developer of HyperHDR) I was able to dramatically improve the frame rate with which HyperHDR/Hyperion is sending information to WLED and from there to my Ambilight-LED stripes.

Background was, that I could not increase the frequency inside HyperHDR higher than 20 fps. I am steering 302 APA LEDs and higher rates made WLED completely unresponsive. I was using GPIO2 for data and GPIO04 for CLK. It turned out, that with this set-up WLED was running in a “software SPI mode” which was limiting performance and the frame rate to 20.

For “hardware SPI” on the ESP8266 you need to connect GPIO14: SCLK for the CLK and GPIO13: MOSI for data. I can easily go up to 50 fps in HyperHDR now, even I understood that WLED is limiting to 42 Hz maximum.

Hope that may help others with their configuration.


Use GPIO2 for data and GPIO1 for clock. Ignore the rest.

1 Like

Hello blazoncek
thanks for your feedback!

Actually, I tested several combination of GPIOs, but not the one you are mentioning. I will give it a try.
I also recognized that it is documented like this in the “getting started” .

I might get old, but I could swear it looked different in the past.

It was GPIO2 and GPIO0 in the past.