Addressable LED Strip VS Non Addressable

Table of Contents

What is None Addressable LED Strip

smd5050 led strip (1)

Non-addressable RGBs, the whole strip/array of RGB LEDs displays one color at any time. This color can transition, shift, breath/pulse, etc, across the entire RGB LED color spectrum – and AURA provides a variety of snazzy themes/effects – but every RGB LED is always exactly the same color as all its neighbors at any given instant.

Single Color, Non-Addressable: This is your basic “dumb” LED strip lighting. They come in plenty of colors and are great for providing bright, colorful lighting in fixed locations. These are commonly mounted under cabinets or tables to provide a nice recessed glow or as a source of indirect lighting for home theater setups or display cases. They’re relatively inexpensive, and you can buy them in plenty of colors and intensities.

RGB, Non-Addressable: RGB strips are able to display any RGB color, and can change dynamically. They’re a good alternative for lighting projects where you want to be able to create different moods. They’re more expensive than single-color strips, and require some sort of microcontroller. If you’re so inclined, pre-made kits are available which include everything you need.

RGB stands for Red — Green — Blue, that in the context of LED lighting is a combination of three color emitters within the same device or individual LED units on the same package (lighting unit), and the intensity of each color could be varied from dark to max bright with multiple grades in between.

4-pin RGB LEDs each contain an individual Red LED, Green LED, and Blue LED in a single discrete package or module. One wire to power each of the RGB color “channels” plus one common ground path. They’re still dumb but different voltages on different channels can mix into a spectrum of color combinations. 5-pin RGBW LEDs are a common variant, adding a White LED component (and color channel) to the package.

What is an addressable LED Strip?

ws2811 rgb led strip

RGB, Addressable: The most customizable, most controllable, and just generally the most awesome LED strips. Addressable LED strips are color-changing, like the previous category, but go a step further and include a tiny chip in between each and every LED, allowing you to control them all individually. They’re the most expensive, and to get the most out of the one you will definitely need a microcontroller. They can be used for the most sophisticated lighting projects, or can even act as an art object all on their own. Additionally, they’re perfect for projects that rely on the persistence of vision to create images in the air.

Addressable RGBs, each RGB LED (or segment/block of RGB LEDs) can display a different color and intensity than its neighbors. Some could be lit in one color or lit in another or more intense or less intense while others are simultaneously displaying something else. Everything that non-addressable RGB does but more fancy animation/striping/chasing effects is possible. Higher cost and complexity.

Addressable LEDs on the other hand can have the color of each individual LED programmed separately. This is a much more complex situation because every LED needs a controller, or at least some sort of addressable device that holds the voltage for the RGB LED steady. This is good for making very large image screens, or other effects.

The Advantage of Addressable LED Strips

ws2811 12v led strip with white pcb in mshled

Addressable LEDs are a great way to produce light with ease of use and endless variety that you can find in any color! These small, bright pixel lights each contain an integrated circuit (IC) which makes them respond only when powered during certain frequencies-divided time windows. This means they will always stay lit at ten times their normal intensity while other parts are unpowered so as not to waste energy or create unwanted shadows on your installation surface.


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