Well, that didn’t take long:
The red spot in the next-to-bottom row of the test fixture (*) marks a failed WS2812 LED. All of the LEDs above it, plus the LED just to its left, are in pinball panic mode: random colors flicker across the panel as the LED’s controller transmits garbled data and the downstream LEDs pass it on.
This failure provides several bits of information:
- The LED sees the same power supply as all the rest, so it’s not a power thing
- The LED gets data from the adjacent WS2812, so it’s not an Arduino output thing
- It failed after about four days = 100 hours of continuous operation
I connected the previous LED’s output (#6) to the next one’s input (#8), so the failed LED (#7, now with output disconnected) continues to flicker, but doesn’t influence any of the downstream LEDs.
(*) The LEDs are daisy-chained from lower right to upper left, row by row, so that’s LED #7 of 28.