This Christmas I fell in love with the Unicorn Hat from the awesome team at Pimoroni.
The Unicorn Hat is a beautiful bank of 8×8 RGB LEDs ((WS2812B) which are easily programmable with a Python API.
I am using my Unicorn Hat with a model A+ as a countdown to my family holiday to Florida next year. Running off a decent 2A power supply and connecting to my WIFI network there is no need for a keyboard and a mouse. With just one power lead connected and a WIFI dongle I have a very small and bright marquee message display panel.
The code for my project can be found here on github.
Projects using the scrolling text will require the UnicornHat Scrolling text code from https://github.com/topshed/UnicornHatScroll
I am really impressed that for under £45 (including a model A+) you can build a compact and bright LED messaging display.
The Unicorn Hat API is very easy to use and the guys at Pimoroni do include enough detail and examples to get you started. I do intend to buy another one and introduce it to my pupils at school. This could be a very good tool for some Python programming.
One word of warning: It is bright when displaying at 100%. People with photosensitivity should also take care when using this especially when making the LEDs do flashing patterns.