With the growing popularity of LED strip lights, color changing LED light strips are favored by many due to their versatility and creativity. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between the various types of color changing LED strip lights – RGB, RGBW, RGBIC, RGBWW, RGBCW, and RGBCCT.

What Does RGB Stand For In LED Lighting?

Unlike single color chips, RGB chips contain three color channels, and the three letters of RGB stand for red, green, and blue, meaning that a single RGB LED can produce multiple colors. In LED lighting, RGB stands for color change, and by controlling the brightness and mixing ratio of these three primary colors, various colors can be emitted.

What Is RGBIC? The RGBIC Meaning?

RGBIC refers to IC-controlled RGB lights. You can freely control each IC to achieve the color you want. Like ARGB (Addressable RGB), RGBIC is also addressable. It is also similar to DRGB (Digital RGB). In LED strip lighting, RGBIC = ARGB = DRGB.

Currently, there are various IC chips in the market including WS2812B, WS2811, WS2815, SK6812, etc. The name of the strip light controlled by a specific IC will be preceded by this IC model, for example, the RGB strip light controlled by SK6812 is called SK6812 strip light or SK6812 RGB strip light.

RGBIC LED Strip Light VS Normal RGB Strip Light

Expansion: Can you cut RGBIC LED strip?

When talking about RGBIC, you may associate it with Govee RGBIC LED strip lights. One of the less convenient aspects of these smart strips is that they cannot be cut. However, addressable RGB LED strip lights circulating in the market usually support cropping. They change color through an external controller. Having cutting lines is the key that a LED strip light can be cut.

What Is RGBW? What’s RGBW Lighting?

An RGBW light means that it not only displays RGB colors but also has pure white light. This pure white light can be mixed with any of the RGB colors to produce a new light color.

  • RGBW=4 in 1 RGBW light
  • RGBW=RGB light + white light (RGB+W)
  • RGBW=Red light + green light + blue light + white light (R+B+G+W)
4-in-1 RGBW Lights Effect

Expansion 1: What is addressable RGBW?

Addressable RGBW LED strip adds additional IC driver chips such as SK6812, UCS2904, SM16704, TM1814, WS2811, and WS2814 to each LED or group of LEDs on top of RGBW strips, so that adjacent LEDs can be of different colors and brightness.

Expansion 2: Can I use the normal RGBW controller for addressable RGBW strip?

No. Addressable RGBW LED strips require a controller capable of outputting TTL/SPI/DMX512 data signals and are not compatible with PWM signal levels.

What Is RGBWW? What’s RGBWW Meaning?

As for the meaning of RGBWW, you can interpret it as RGB plus warm white light, or RGB plus a white and a white light. Which specific meaning it expresses is recommended to read the product details page carefully.

If RGBWW is the abbreviation of RGB+WW (Warm White), then it is an RGBW light. If it is RGB+W+W, then it is an RGBCCT light.

RGBWW has more extra white light than RGB.

  • RGBWW=RGB+Warm White (RGB+WW)
  • RGBWW=RGB+White+Warm White (RGB+W+W / RGBCCT)
5-in-1 RGB CCT/RGB+W+WW LED Lights Effect

What Is RGBCW?

Similarly, RGBCW can be interpreted as RGB plus cool white or RGB plus cool white plus warm white, while RGBNW is RGB plus natural white. In general, there is no option of RGB plus 4000K natural white plus warm white in LED strip light types.

In the case that both RGBWW and RGBCW are expressed as RGB plus two white lights, RGBWW=RGBCW. Because in the LED strip, only one option exists, which is RGB plus Cool White plus Warm White.

  • RGBCW=RGB+Cool White (RGB+CW)
  • RGBCW=RGB+Cool White+Warm White (RGB+CW+WW)
  • RGBNW=RGB+Nutral White (RGB+NW)


RGBCCT means you can adjust both the RGB color and the white color temperature (generally from 2700K to 6500K). CCT stands for the LED color temperature is adjustable.

Inside all color changing LED lights, RGBCCT lights have the most color options, especially addressable RGBCCT LED light strips.

  • RGBCCT=5-in-1 RGBCCT light
  • RGBCCT=3-in-1 RGB light + CCT light (RGB+CCT)
  • RGBCCT=4-in-1 RGBW light + white light (RGBW+W)
  • RGBCCT=3-in-1 RGB light + warm white light + cool white light (RGB+WW+CW / RGB+WW+DW)

Expansion: What is addressable RGBCCT?

Addressable RGBCCT LED strips now exist in the market controlled by FW1906/TM1906, DMX512, and HD108 for a wider range of lighting colors. The WS2811 addressable RGB+CCT led strip is formed by the combination of addressable RGB LEDs + PWM CCT LEDs, which is not really an addressable RGB CCT strip.


RGBIC lights have an additional intelligent control chip than RGB, resulting in a big difference in their color display.

IC-controlled RGB strips can set the color of each LED, and it can be red + green + blue + purple color settings at the same time. The common RGB strip (non-addressable) can only be red for all the lights, and then all the lights become green…

*Tip: RGBIC controller ≠ RGB controller.


The biggest difference between RGB and RGBW lights is the degree of color mixing and the purity of white light. RGBW LED strips have a greater ability to mix colors than RGB strips.

RGBW LED strip has a pure warm white or natural white or cool white light, while RGB can only create a bluish-white light by opening all color channels (R, G, and B).

RGB White vs. RGBW/RGBWW White, displayed by COB RGB CCT LED strip


You can see that RGBWW (RGB+W+W) has one more W (White) than RGBW, and the difference between them is the richness of the white light.

RGBWW has two white lights, usually one is warm white and one is daylight white, allowing you to adjust the light color temperature freely. While RGBW has only one white color temperature, you can only choose one between warm white, natural white, and daylight.


RGB LED Strip Lights3-in-1 LED chip
RGBIC LED Strip LightsWith a more smart IC chip than RGB
RGBW LED Strip LightsWith an extra white light than RGB, 4-in-1 LED chip
RGBWW LED Strip LightsRGB+Warm White, or RGB+White+White
RGBCW LED Strip LightsRGB+Cool White, or RGB+Cool White+Warm White
RGBNW LED Strip LightsRGB+Natural White
RGBCCT LED Strip LightsRGB+CCT (adjustable white light), 5-in-1 LED chip

In LED strip lighting, RGBWW = RGBCW = RGBCCT since only the option of RGB plus warm white plus daylight white exists. RGBW contains RGBCW, RGBWW, and RGBNW. RGBIC=ARGB=DRGB.