This is a 1 meter long flexible strip of 144 individually controllable RGB Leds. Each 1 meter 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. This strip comes with black PCB.
The strips come in a weatherproof transparent jacket that is removable with a sharp knife. The jackets on the 144/m LED strips are softer and more flexible than on the 60/m LED strips, this allows for better cooling and more easily wrapping the strips around objects, however, it does provide less protection from blunt objects, knocks and bumps.
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.
These strips have a maximum voltage of 6V - anything higher will blow them up!
Addressable LED Strips - Common Questions
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 - 35 Watts max (~7 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.