How To Get Started With RGB LED Strips That Can Be Programmed



LED strips are a great way to add a lot of light and color to a project in a fun and cost-effective way. You’ll learn about the many sorts of strips and how to connect them to an Intel Edison using an Arduino breakout board in this Instructable.


To begin, solder the wires to the light strip. If you don’t buy a full 5-meter roll of LED strips at once, you’ll get a larger quantity of strips that have been cut off and don’t have the leads attached. Soldering is straightforward; all you have to do is make sure the wires are connected to the correct side of the ribbon. At either end, there will be a set of four contacts, but the two contacts in the middle of one end will be labeled “DI” and “CI,” while the two contacts in the middle of the other end will be marked “DO” and “CO.” The “I” side (short for “In”) is the one you desire.


Because the connections are brittle at this point, I recommend using heat shrink tubing or electrical tape to reinforce and insulate them.


The LED strips should then be connected to the Arduino and the power source. The “DI” and “CI” (Data In and Clock In) wires are connected to the Arduino’s two digital pins, while the other two are connected to the power supply and power source, as well as the Arduino’s common ground. Check out Adafruit’s great tutorial for a more in-depth look at wiring addressable LED strips.


Finally, you’ll need to submit the program to Arduino via your computer so that it can execute it using the LEDs. You’ll need the Arduino IDE (along with the Arduino USB driver) and a library to control the chip on the LED strip for this. This library is accessible for the individual strip I purchased.


I won’t go into detail about how Arduino works or how to utilize it because that will be covered in a subsequent guide. For the time being, I’d just like to point you that you can program the Arduino by writing a simple C program that specifies which LEDs should light up and when. It’s still being coded, so don’t be alarmed if that makes you nervous; nonetheless, controlling the LEDs is as simple as programming in C, and you can learn everything you need to know in just a few hours.


I added two buttons to the Arduino for my project and built a simple software that cycles through three modes (stationary light, slow “bounce,” and carnival mode) and various different color selections with the second button. I got some ordinary 3M double-sided mounting tape and applied it to the Arduino and LED strips to mount the backlight to the TV. I put the whole thing to the back of the TV, and now any movie or carnival can generate lovely mood lighting.

How to compare Addressable RGB LED Light Strips WS2811, WS2812B, WS2813, WS2815, SK6812,   APA102C 

Today I am comparing the different normal addressable led strips, talking about their technical specifications, then I’m gonna help you figure out which one is the best-led strip lights for your project.

5V Addressable Strip

WS2812b led strip lights

The most well-known chip currently is the ws2812b chip. This chip became very famous partly because Adafruit gave it the name “Neopixels” and made it available to the general public a few years ago.

It can do 30LEDs/M, 60LEDs/M, 144LEDs/m. Black and White PCB.

One Pixel with One LED, each LED can be cut. Detail as below, It with all WIFI controllers and Offline controllers.

WS2812B LED Strip

Ws2813 led strip

Refresh Frequency updates reach 2 KHz, 5v compatible, and dual signal wires so that if one led gets damaged, the signal should still transfer to all other chips. (almost same with ws2815, but voltage different).

 Any led broken will not affect another led unless two consecutive LEDs are broken.

30LEDs/M, 60LEDs/M,144LEDs/M.

PN Working current Working temperature Package LED number Viewing angle Lifespan Working voltage Pixel/M
S010030-WS2813RGB 1.8A/meter -40℃~60℃ 5meter/roll 30pcs/meter 140 50000h DC 5V 30Pixels/M
S010060-WS2813RGB 3.6A/meter -40℃~60℃ 5meter/roll 60pcs/meter 140 50000h DC 5V 60Pixels/M
S012144-WS2813RGB 8.64A/meter -40℃~60℃ 2meter/roll 144pcs/meter 140 50000h DC 5V 144Pixels/m

SK6812 RGBW LED Strip

 This chip runs PWM at about 1.2kHz making it better in the regard to the ws2812b too, and Adafruit used it the same with ws2812b. It does RGBW mostly.


APA102C (SPI) LED Strip

APA102 PWM Frequency is 19khz

 It also isn’t a clockless chip with only three wires (+, -, data) but instead uses a 4 wire protocol (+, -, clock, data). The APA102 also has some advantages in regards to settable brightness and tune-able color spectrums. APA102 is also the brightest LED strip before, so if you need a lot of light output, this might be your LED chip! The APA102 can also be bought in full white variants giving you for instance warm white addressable LED strips.


SMD2020 APA102C and SMD5050 APA102C for your choice.

1)SMD2020 APA102C 200leds/m, 288leds/m, 

2) SMD2020 APA102C, 72leds/PC, 227cm length customize.

apa102c led strip

3)SMD5050, APA102C, 30LEDs/M, 60LEDs/M, 144LEDs/M. Black and White PCB.

apa102c led strip

12V strip light

WS2815 led strip

A new chip from the creators of the WS2812B and compatible with the same protocol. The main improvements are a higher internal PWM frequency (around 2kHz), 12v compatible (5v logic signal), and dual signal wires (DI, BI, GND, 12V), so that if a chip gets damaged the signal should still reach all other chips. This causes ws2815 to use more watts than a ws2812b running the same pattern.

WS2815 LED Strip

WS2811 LED Strip 

It is the cheapest addressable led strip, It is one signal cable, three cables (GND, DAT, 12V/24V), The voltage 12V/24V both available. RGBW and RGB color for more choice.

WS2811 IC uses pixel light and Amusement Pixel light widely.

ws2811 strip