ESP8266 WiFi indicator with WS2812 LED

I had some ESP8266 modules and WS2812 LEDs laying around, that were only collecting dust, so I decided to make a little, maybe useless, project.

It simply shows the average WiFi RSSI by scanning for networks continuously, adding up the RSSIs and dividing them by the number of found networks. Since I’ve used the Adafruit WS2812 library together with the ESP8266 libs for Arduino, I had a prebuilt function, that can be fed with 0-255 to set a color. As the function name ‘Wheel();’ already states, it cycles through the colors in a circle, so we only need around half of that range. After some tests, I found that adding 100 and multiplying the value by 2.2 works quite ok.

So, you say, this is quite boring for such a powerful microcontroller? You’re right! I decided to¬†add an interrupt to the ‘flash’-button, that is on the dev-board and can be used as a normal GPIO-button. Once pressed, the LED will blink as often as many networks have been found. Afterwards it will show the color for the strongest and then for the weakest signal. The purpose of the serial output was actually just for debugging, but I left it there, so you I can still check the values at any time.

After testing it at home, I finally went out in the wild to test it at a place with a huge amount of networks (60+). I figured out, while the LED was blinking, the controller got reset after ~17 blinks. This was done by the watchdog, that couldn’t be turned off at that time (maybe the lib got an update now). So I decided to feed the not-so-cute-litte dog every blink with ‘ESP.wdtFeed();’.

Here is an example video:

And of course the code:



  1. Thank you very much.
    Tomorrow I have to work, so I will study, test and enjoy with your project.


    From Spain, Sergio.

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