Make your own smart LED arrangement with this tiny APA102 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Driver Chip (5mm x 5mm), easy to solder and the most compact way possible to integrate multiple bright LEDs to a design.
These LEDs use genertic 2-wire SPI and are able to transfer data much faster than previous versions (800 KHz protocol) like the WS2812S RGB LEDs. They also have much higher PWM refresh rates, and improved Persistence-of-Vision (POV) with less flickering, particularly at low brightness levels.
The APA102 LEDs are 5050-sized with an embedded microcontroller inside the LED. You can set the colour/brightness of each LED to 24-bit colour (8 bits each red green and blue). Each LED acts like a shift register, reading incoming colour data on the input pins, and then shifting the previous colour data out on the output pin. By sending a long string of data, you can control an infinite number of LEDs, just tack on more or cut off unwanted LEDs at the end. The PWM is built into each LED-chip so once you set the colour you can stop talking to the strip and it will continue to PWM all the LEDs for you.
The APA102 has a high PWM rate. You only have to set the 24-bit colour data for each pixel LED once, and then the LED+built-in-chip will handle the PWMing of the red, green and blue. They have a 20 KHz PWM rate, so even when moving the strip around, you won't see the pixelation, the color blending is very smooth.
***This item is sometimes sold under the made up name 'Dotstar' - but this is just a name. Our APA102 strips come from the same factory and are exactly equivalent****
Comes in a package with 10 individual LEDs.