This 1-meter long strip contains 60 RGB LEDs that can be individually addressed using a one-wire interface, allowing you full control over the color of each RGB LED. The flexible, waterproof strip runs on 5 V and can be chained with additional WS2812B strips to form longer runs or cut apart between each LED for shorter sections.
These flexible RGB LED strips are an easy way to add complex lighting effects to a project. Each LED has an integrated driver that allows you to control the color and brightness of each LED independently. The combined LED/driver IC on these strips is the extremely compact WS2812B (essentially an improved WS2811 LED driver integrated directly into a 5050 RGB LED), which enables higher LED densities. In the picture on the right, you can actually see the integrated driver and the bonding wires connecting it to the green, red, and blue LEDs, which are on at their dimmest setting.
|Typical operating voltage:||5 V|
|RGB LED density:||60 per meter|
|Maximum current draw:||3.0 A1|
- WS2812B integrated LED and driver datasheet (266k pdf)
Features and specifications
- Individually addressable RGB LEDs (30, 60, or 144 LEDs per meter)
- 24-bit color control (8-bit PWM per channel); 16.8 million colors per pixel
- One-wire digital control interface
- 5 V operating voltage
- Each RGB LED draws approximately 50 mA at 5 V with red, green, and blue at full brightness
- 12 mm width, 4.6 mm thickness
- Flexible, waterproof silicone rubber sheath (IP65 protection rating)
- Includes flexible silicone mounting brackets
- Black strip color
- Power/data connectors on both strip ends for easy chaining, and the input side includes an additional power and ground wire for alternate power connections
- Strips can be cut apart along the lines between each RGB LED segment to separate them into usable shorter sections
- Example code available for Arduino, AVR, and mbed
Using the LED strip
Each LED strip has three connection points: the input connector, the auxiliary power wires, and the output connector. These can be seen in the adjacent picture, from left to right: auxiliary power wires, input connector, output connector. The strip uses 3-pin JST SM connectors.
The input connector has three male pins inside of a plastic connector shroud, each separated by about 0.1″. The black wire is ground, the green wire is the signal input, and the red wire is the power line.
The auxiliary power wires are connected to the input side of the LED strip and consist of stripped black and red wires. The black wire is ground, and the red wire is the power line. This provides an alternate (and possibly more convenient) connection point for LED strip power.
The output connector is on the other end of the strip and is designed to mate with the input connector of another LED strip to allow LED strips to be chained. The black wire is ground, the green wire is the signal output, and the red wire is the power line.
All three black ground wires are electrically connected, and all three red power wires are electrically connected.
These LED strips ship with flexible silicone brackets and screws. Strips with lengths of 1 meter or greater include five brackets and ten screws per meter. Our 0.5 meter high-density strip ships with a total of two brackets and four screws. The brackets fit over the waterproof sheath and can be used to mount the LED strip. The LED strip also ships on a plastic reel.
Connecting the LED strip
To control the LED strip from a microcontroller, two wires from the input connector should be connected to your microcontroller. The LED strip’s ground (black) should be connected to ground on the microcontroller, and the LED strip’s signal input line (green) should be connected to one of the microcontroller’s I/O lines. The male pins inside the input connector fit the female terminations on our premium jumper wires and wires with pre-crimped terminals. If you are connecting the LED strip to a breadboard or a typical Arduino with female headers, you would want to use male-female wires.
We generally recommend powering the LED strip using the auxiliary power wires. Our 5 V wall power adapters work well for powering these LED strips and a DC Barrel Jack to 2-Pin Terminal Block Adapter can help you make the connection between the adapter and the strip. However, you might need a wire stripper to strip off some more insulation from the power wires.
It is convenient that the power wires are duplicated on the input side because you can connect the auxiliary power wires to your 5 V power supply and then the power will be available on the data input connector and can be used to power the microcontroller that is controlling the LED strip. This means you can power the microcontroller and LED strip from a single supply without having to make branching power connections.
Warning: The WS2812B seems to be more sensitive than the TM1804 on our original LED strips. We recommend taking several precautions to protect it:
- Connect a capacitor of at least 100 μF between the ground and power lines on the power input.
- Avoiding making or changing connections while the circuit is powered.
- Minimize the length of the wires connecting your microcontroller to the LED strip.
- Follow generally good engineering practices, such as taking precautions against electrostatic discharge (ESD).
- Consider adding a 100 Ω to 500 Ω resistor between your microcontroller’s data output and the LED strip to reduce the noise on that line.
If the strip does get damaged, it is often just the first LED that is broken; in such cases, cutting off this first segment and resoldering the connector to the second segment brings the strip back to life.
Making a custom cable
If you do not want to use our premium jumper wires to connect to the LED strip’s input, it is possible to make a custom cable.
One option for making a custom cable is to cut off the unused output connector on the last LED strip in your chain. This can then be plugged into the input connector of the first LED strip. The wires on the output and input connectors are 20 AWG, which is too thick to easily use with our crimp pins and housings, but you could solder the wires to header pins.
Alternatively, you can get your own JST SM connectors and make a custom cable using those. The parts you would need to get are the SMP-03V-BC and the SHF-001T-0.8BS, which are described in the SM Connector datasheet from JST. These can be purchased from several places, and we got them from Heilind. You will also need some 22–28 AWG stranded wire and a wire stripper. We do not know of a great way to crimp wires onto the JST crimp pins, but we were able to successfully do it using our narrower crimping tool and pliers. (With the wider crimping tool, it is hard to avoid crimping parts of the pin that should not be crimped.) Before crimping, use pliers to bend the outer set of tabs a little bit so that they can hold on to the insulation of the wire. This makes it easier to position the crimp pin and the wire. Next, you should be able to follow the instructions on the crimping tool product page to crimp the wire. After that, you will probably need to squeeze the crimp pin with pliers to get it to fit into the JST plug housing. On the other end of the cable you could make a custom connector using ourcrimp pins and crimp connector housings, which will allow you to plug it directly into a breadboard or 0.1″ header pins.
Current draw and voltage drop
Each RGB LED draws approximately 50 mA when it is set to full brightness and powered at 5 V. This means that for every 30 LEDs you turn on, your LED strip could be drawing as much as 1.5 A. Be sure to select a power source that can handle your strip’s current requirements.
There is some resistance in the power connections between the LEDs, which means that the power voltage near the end of the strip will be less than the voltage at the start of the LED strip. As the voltage drops, RGB LEDs tend to look redder and draw less current. This voltage drop is proportional to the current through the strip, so it increases when the LEDs are set to a higher brightness.
We tested the current draw and voltage drop of some LED strips by setting all the LEDs to full brightness, and these were the results:
- The 30 LED 1 m strip drew 1.5 A and had a voltage drop of 0.2 V.
- The 60 LED 2 m strip drew 2.9 A and had a voltage drop of 0.8 V.
- The 150 LED 5 m strip drew 4.1 A and had a voltage drop of 2.0 V.
- The 60 LED 1 m strip drew 3.0 A and had a voltage drop of 0.6 V.
- The 120 LED 2 m strip drew 4.7 A and had a voltage drop of 1.4 V.
The voltage drop was computed by measuring the voltage difference between ground and power on the input end of the strip, then doing the same measurement on the output end, and subtracting the two values.
Multiple LED strips can be chained together by connecting input connectors to output connectors. When strips are chained this way, they can be controlled and powered as one continuous strip. Please note, however, that as chains get longer, the ends will get dimmer and redder due to the voltage drop across the strip. If this becomes an issue, you can chain the data lines while separately powering shorter subsections of the chain.
We recommend chains of LEDs powered from a single supply not exceed 180 total RGB LEDs. It is fine to make longer chains with connected data lines, but you should power each 180-LED section separately. If you are powering each section from a different power supply, you should cut the power wires between the sections so you do not short the output of two different power supplies together.
The LED strip is divided into segments, with each segment containing one RGB LED. The strip can be cut apart on the lines between each segment to separate it into usable shorter sections. The data connection is labeled DO, Dout, DI, or Din, the positive power connection is labeled 5V, and the ground connection is labeled GND. Each LED in the picture below is at the center of its own segment; there are little scissors drawn on the PCB silkscreen where the segments can be cut.
|Part. No. :||2549|
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