LED Pixel FAQ

Light Emitting Diode   Pixel     

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

What`s an LED Pixel?

LED Pixels are individually controllable Red , Green and Blue LEDs in one tiny package, the LED itself has a tiny LED driver built in, the pixel just needs power , ground and data in and out.

 

How many wires between Pixels?

Only ONE between controller and the first pixel and in between each subsequent pixel.

Power (+) and Ground (-) are wired in parallel to all the pixels. and Data In and Out pass through the pixels. (As noted below some types of pixel may have a Backup Data or a Clock Line)

Each pixel takes its part from the Data Incoming stream on the Data line and passes Data Out to the next pixel in the chain.

Total of THREE wires for thousands of individually addressable LEDs

No need to wire each LED individually back to the controller.

 

What voltage do Pixels work on?

All pixels use 5V on the Data line.

Pixel strips supply voltage is usually 5V or 12V with individual control and 24V with groups of LEDs forming pixels.

Pixel controllers will often function from a supply of 5V to 24V they output 5V on the Data output.

 

Can I have Pixels in my car / van / boat / motorhome / truck?

Yes , of course you can. Low voltage LEDs can be powered from any battery source.

 

Why do some Pixels have 2 data connections?

Not to be confused with pixels that have a separate Data and Clock line like the APA102. 

Pixel types such as WS2813 and WS2815 have a DI , Data In with DO Data Out  and BI Backup In and Backup Out.

If an individual pixel fails , the Data will transfer to the Backup data line and the failed pixel will be bypassed rather than everything downstream failing.

The BI data line is Not Connected at the controller, and can be left floating,,unconnected,  or tied to ground, it is recommended to connect both DI and BI at any connections further down to continue integrity.

 

Why do some Pixels have a Clock Line?

APA 102 and WS2801 are examples of pixels with separate Data and Clock lines from the controller, this should allow a much faster refresh rate , less visible flicker with fast moving images, issues with high clock rates over any distance, over couple of meters, makes these pixels more suitable for Persistence of Vision, P.O.V.  displays and juggling props than long range applications. 

 

What does RGBW mean?

RGB can mix any colour of the rainbow, most pixels are RGB. 

Red ,Green and Blue on together will mix to White light, as can see requires all 3 LEDs on and the White can appear a bit cold. Adding a White dedicated LED to the pixel , allows pure white at less power and some more subtle pastel colors to be achievable.

 

 Why all the different type numbers?

World Semiconductor are probably the most common manufacturer and their parts start with a WS , like WS2811, OPSCO parts have a SK part code and Genesis Systek start with a GS. 

All of these can be controlled using WS2811 compatible controls.  

These are all just different manufacturers and LedShed selects the most appropriate products for the application.

 

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