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Ultimate guide to choosing the right addressable led strip

Led light strip dynamic lighting is more flexible and more adaptable to the current mood. Addressable led strip is distinguished from ordinary RGB light strips due to its more dynamic nature. If you want to use the dynamic effects of the led light strip flexibly, you need to understand the working principle of the addressable led lights. What exactly is an addressable led strip, and how is it different from other lights? Now, let us see.

 


What is an addressable LED strip? How do addressable LEDs work?

The addressable led strip is unique. It has one more IC chip than other ordinary led tape lights. The addressable led lights receive the digital signal data from the addressable led controller, then delivers the data to IC, and IC controls LED lights. One IC can control one or more LED lights. You can send different control commands to each IC. The LED lights in the adjacent IC control area can have different colors and different brightness. Therefore, it enables us to develop complex illumination effects.

• Working voltage: 5V12V24V

• Color: Addressable White, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Golden yellowCCT, RGB, RGBW, RGBCCT

• Signal: Single signal, Dual signal, Breakpoint resume series, DMX512

• IC structure: Built-in IC, External IC

• IC chip: WS2811, WS2812B, SK6812(RGB/RGBW), UCS1903, TM1812, TM1814(RGBW), TM1936(RGBCCT), WS2814(RGBW), SK9822, APA102, APA102/HD107S, WS2801, LPD8806, LPD6803, WS2813, WS2815, WS2818, TM1914(RGB), GS8206, GS8208, DMX512

• Luminous way: Top-emitting(SMD5050, 3838, 3535, 2835, 2020), Side-emitting(SMD4020, 020)

• PCB color: White, Black, Yellow

• PCB Width: Multi-RowUltra-Narrow

• Waterproof grade: IP20, IP65, IP67, IP68

The addressable led strip supports low-voltage work and has a variety of color options. 

The built-in IC of the addressable led strip is embedded in the LED, which is difficult to see with the naked eye. The external IC is placed on the PCB board and can be clearly seen.

Why do addressable led strips have so many IC types? Different ICs lead to differences in the functions of the addressable led strip lights. It may be the color, the voltage, or other aspects.

The larger the LED size, the brighter the brightness and the more energy it consumes.

 


What is the difference? Addressable led strip VS Non-addressable led strip

Addressable led strips can be regarded as an upgraded version of non-addressable led light strips. Ordinary led rope lights can only realize the color jump of the whole led strip and the brightness adjustment of single color. The entire rope light can only appear in one color at a time, and two different colors cannot exist at the same time.

Instead, addressable led strip lights can achieve various changes through the control system, including color chasing, multi-color cycling, single color walking, and so on. These change modes are often programmed by the addressable controller engineer and implanted in the controller integrated circuit board. We only need to supply power to the addressable light strip, connect to the addressable led controller, and play the programmed mode.

 


How do I know if my LED strip is addressable?

The connection point of the addressable led strip is different from the ordinary 12V or 24V led strip light. You can judge whether your light strip is an addressable led strip according to the connection point.

Addressable led strip lights can be divided into single signal led strips, dual signal led strips, breakpoint resume series, and DMX512 led strips according to the signal. And these four types are different. 

1. Single Signal LED Strips

From the name, a single signal addressable led strip can only pass through one type of signal. An IC control area is called a pixel. When one of the pixels is broken, the other pixels will stop working. So its connection point is a positive wire, a negative wire, and a signal wire. Take the following figure as an example.

12V represents the positive line.

Din represents the data signal line.

GND represents the negative line.

3-pin Single Signal LED Strips Color IC structure LED size Voltage IC control unit
WS2811 White / RGB External IC 5050 / 3535 / 3838 / 020 5V / 12V /24V 1 /3/ 4/ 6/ 9
WS2812B RGB Built-in IC 5050 / 2020 5V 1 /3/ 12
SK6812 White / RGB / RGBW Built-in IC 5050 / 3535 / 4020 5V / 12V /24V 1 /3/ 6
UCS1903 RGB External IC 5050 / 3535 5V / 12V /24V 1 /3/ 6
TM1812 White / RGB / RGBCCT External IC 5050 12V / 24V 3/ 6/ 12
TM1814 RGBW External IC 5050 12V / 24V 6
TM1936 RGBCCT External IC 5050 24V 6
WS2814 RGBW External IC 5050 24V 6

 

2. Dual Signal LED Strips

In addition to the data signal passing through the dual signal addressable led strip, it adds a clock function. You can set the time for the LED light to turn on.

5V---Positive line

CKL/CKO---Clock line

SDI/SDO---Digital signal line

GND---Negative line

4-pin Dual Signal LED Strips Color IC structure LED size Voltage IC control unit
SK9822 RGB Built-in IC 5050 /3535 /3838 /020 5V/ 12V /24V 1
APA102 White/ RGB Built-in & external IC 5050/ 2020 5V 1/ 3
APA102 /HD107S White/ RGB Built-in IC 5050 /3535 /4020 5V/ 12V /24V 1
WS2801 RGB Built-in & external IC 5050 /3535 5V/ 12V /24V 1/ 3
LPD8806 RGB External IC 5050 12V /24V 2
LPD6803 RGB External IC 5050 12V /24V 3
 

3. Breakpoint Resume Series

Breakpoint resume series is an upgraded version of a single signal addressable LED strip which is a 4-channel dual data line LED driver control circuit with a data line and a backup data line. After a single data line fails, the backup data line will automatically start and ensure that the signal is not interrupted.

12V---Positive line

DO1---Digital signal line

DO2---Backup line

GND---Negative line

4-pin Breakpoint Resume Series Color IC structure LED size Voltage IC control unit
WS2813 RGB/ RGBW Built-in IC 5050 5V 1
WS2815 RGB Built-in IC 5050 12V 1
WS2818 RGB/ RGBW External IC 5050 12V 3/ 6
TM1914 White/ RGB /RGBCCT External IC 5050 12V/ 24V 3 /6 /7
GS8206 RGB External IC 5050 12V/ 24V 3 /5 /6
GS8208 RGB /R /G /B /Yellow /Golden yellow /W External IC 5050 12V 1
WS2814 RGBW External IC 5050 12V 3
 
 

The difference between the DMX512 led strip and other addressable led light strips is that it is more intelligent and can be connected to the DMX system. Control various tricks such as horse racing, running water, chasing, animation, etc. Patterns can be combined at will, and any color can be displayed. If a pixel is broken, the signal transmission will not be affected, and other pixels can be used normally.

GND---Negative line

12V---Positive line

B---Digital line

A---Digital line

DI/DO---Programming address

If you find the above mark on the light strip, it means that your light strip is addressable, and you can control your light strip with different colors and different brightness and different modes.

 


Can you cut addressable LED strips?

The cutting unit is closely related to the control of several LED lights by one IC. One IC controls one LED, so a single LED can be cut. The addressable led strip cutting unit is generally 1, 3, or 6 LED lights. Addressable light strips with a cutting unit of 1 LED are called individually addressable led strips.

5V addressable led strip ⇒ 1 cutting unit ⇒ voltage drop in 5 meters

12V addressable led strip ⇒ 3 cutting unit ⇒ 5 meters without voltage drop, 10 meters with voltage drop

24V addressable led strip ⇒ 6 cutting unit ⇒ 10 meters without voltage drop

A voltage drop is manifested as the same color inconsistency or brightness attenuation from the beginning to the end of the led tape light. If there is a voltage drop, separate power supply at both ends of the addressable led strip to ensure that the color and brightness are the same, or power the addressable led strip light every five meters in the long project.

Read more: How to cut led strip lights?

 


How do you connect addressable LED strips?

There are two ways to connect two addressable led strip lights together, one is to use a solderless addressable led connector, and the other is to connect two addressable led strips by welding.

To make the addressable led light strip work, connect the addressable led light to the addressable led controller, and then connect the controller to the led power supply. The output terminal of the addressable led controller is connected to the addressable light strip wire one by one, and the input terminal of the controller is connected to the led power supply.

Read more: How to connect led strip lights?

How to connect led strip to the power supply?

 


How do you control addressable LED strips?

An addressable led strip controller is required to control an addressable led strip. Single signal, dual signal, and breakpoint resume series addressable led strips choose the SPI controller, and DMX512 led strips use the DMX controller. The two controllers are not compatible.

The addressable led controller that supports WIFI or radio frequency function can use the mobile phone or the remote control to control the change of the addressable led light strip. It makes the control method more convenient and fast while getting a variety of addressable led light changes. For specific control methods, please refer to the product details page in this link.

Read more: How to choose led strip light controllers?

 


How to install addressable led strips?

The addressable led strips are installed in the same way as ordinary led tape lights. The indoor IP20 addressable led light strip is installed with adhesive, and the outdoor IP67 waterproof addressable led strip is installed with buckles. 

Read more: How to install led strip lights?

How to wire addressable led strips?

Hope that this article can help you choose your best addressable led strip. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. 

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