This skinny 1 metre long flexible strip of 60 mini 35/35 (SK6812) individually controllable RGB Leds comes in a weatherproof sleeve with white backing. Each 1 metre strip can be cut into sections and still work, or, if you need something longer, they can be daisy chained with other strips to build huge displays capable of basic video frame rates. The protective sleeve is removable with a sharp knife.
Each colour channel of every RGB led is 8 bit. This equates to 16.7 million colours. The LEDs are controlled by shift-registers built into each lamp. In order to drive the strip you need 5v, GND and Data - easy! Once the registers are loaded, you can stop sending data.
The LEDs are controlled by shift-registers that are chained up down the strip so you can shorten or lengthen the strip. Only 1 digital output pin are required to send data down. The PWM is built into each LED-chip so once you set the color you can stop talking to the strip and it will continue to PWM all the LEDs for you.
The protocol used is very very timing-specific and can only be controlled by microcontrollers such as Arduino Uno/Mega microcontroller at 8MHz and 16MHz, Raspberry Pi, or Beagle Bone Black, but also note that it will not work with the Basic Stamp, NETduino, any other interpreted/virtual machine microprocessor or any processor slower than 8 MHz.
These strips have a maximum voltage of 5V - anything higher will blow them up!
LED Connecting wires:
- Red: DC 5V+
- Yellow: Ground
Addressable LED Strips - Common Questions
- LED type: SK6812 MINI (3.5mm x 3.5mm) RGB LEDs
- Power consumption: 7.2 W/m
- Working voltage: 5V DC
- Max. working current: 60mA per LED
- Working temperature: -40 ℃ ~ 60 ℃
- LED number: 60 LEDs / meter
- Waterproof sleeve: IP67 water resistant silicone
- FPC background color: white
- FPC Width: 5mm
- Length: 1 Meter
- Viewing angle: ≥140
- Lifespan: MTBF≥50000h
There are a few things to keep in mind with strips this great:
- First up, the higher density means much higher power usage over a certain distance - 18 Watts max (~3.5 Amps @ 5V) per meter. The max rating is assuming all the LEDs are on full white, usually the actual current for colourful design is about 1/3 to 1/2 the max current. A good power supply is key!
- Second, to get high density, the controller chip is inside the LED, which is kind of cool, but also means that the chip only uses a single pin for input and a single pin for output. The protocol used is very very timing-specific and can only be controlled by microcontrollers with highly repeatable 100nS timing precision. We have example code for using with the Arduino Uno/Mega microcontroller at 8MHz and 16MHz, but it will not work with the Raspberry Pi, Basic Stamp, NETduino, any other interpreted/virtual machine microprocessor or any processor slower than 8 MHz.
- Third, just because you have all those pixels doesn't mean you have the RAM for it - the entire strip must be buffered in memory, and we've found many Arduino UNO projects only have about 1500 bytes of RAM available after all the extras are included - enough for about 500 LED pixels. If you want to drive the entire strip and have some other libraries included, use a Mega.