What is LED pixel strip?
LED pixel strip (sometimes known as digital, addressable, intelligent or smart LED strip) is a flexible circuit board populated with surface-mounted device (SMD) light-emitting diodes (LEDs). It is available on reels and comes with an adhesive backing to help with quick and easy installation.
With a constant voltage (CV) LED setup, every light in the chain has to do exactly the same thing at the same time. For instance – if one LED is red, then they all have to be red. Or if you want to dim your lights, they all have to dim simultaneously.
While many great lighting effects can be created this way – such as the wall washes you might see on an old castle during a son et lumière event – sometimes you’re after more variety or movement in your design. This is where LED pixels come in.
On an individually-addressable digital LED pixel strip, each square SMD LED chip contains either three (RGB) or four (RGBW) individual diodes, and every one of these SMD chips is classed as one pixel. Each of these pixels can produce any desired combination of colours independently of every other pixel in the chain. You can also adjust the brightness of each pixel (or chosen group), and even omit certain pixels entirely if you want. As such, an almost infinite array of creative ideas now becomes possible to achieve.
See how LED pixel strips can enhance your installation
5V versus 12V explained.
The voltage of the strip that you choose largely depends upon what you’re trying to achieve with your installation. A 12V system is better for long runs of pixels because the additional overhead helps to counteract voltage drop. You’ll be able to extend your 12V system about twice as far as its 5V counterpart without losing output quality.
So, why might you choose a 5V system instead? Well, if power consumption is an important consideration. The power consumption of a 12V tape is typically higher than a 5V reel. Therefore, it’s best to calculate and understand the power availability of your system before making a purchase
If you’re not sure which way to swing, don’t hesitate to talk with our experts who are always happy to help you decide which voltage would make the most sense for your unique installation.
RGB or RGBW strip:
which do I choose?
This again depends on the end user application. The most obvious difference is that in addition to red, green and blue, RGBW strips also contain a dedicated white diode in each SMD chip.
By having the red, green and blue diodes simultaneously at full brightness, the end user can obtain a colour that very closely approximates white as seen by the naked eye. Whereas the extra diode on an RGBW strip will give you a much purer white tone, and does so without having to continually overwork your RGB diodes.
However, what a classic RGB strip gives you by way of compensation is an extra channel of control per pixel. As logic dictates, RGB uses three channels per pixel whilst RGBW uses four. This means that the same control setup will be able to operate more RGB lights than it will RGBW. However, if you’re going for something fairly static where you’re going to be using a lot of white tones – such as an architectural accent or interior wall wash – then an RGBW approach would give you a better result.
Again, not sure which one is right for you? Talk to us!
ENTTEC LED pixel strips:
because quality matters.
Manufactured to the highest quality, our individually-addressable digital LED pixel strips come in a range of voltages and grouping types. Choose from 12V or 5V varieties of 30 or 60 RGB or RGBW LEDs per metre depending upon the requirements of your project.
We custom-design our own PCB layouts and use extra-wide 3oz copper tracks to ensure minimal voltage drop and maximum performance. All of our strips feature a 32-bit, True Colour display, Scan frequency of 400Hz+/s and adhesive backing for easy installation.
With their lightweight, space-saving design, ENTTEC has an LED pixel strip for every project. Also, don’t forget that our friendly customer service team are here to help if you run into any trouble or have any questions.
Explore 5V LED pixel strips
Explore 12V LED pixel strips
Channel-saving strips engineered for long-range installations.
On our 12V 8PL60-F-12 and 8PXW60-F-12-B strips, every consecutive group of three SMD chips behave as one pixel.
This means that you can free up extra channels to triple your output capabilities. Perfect for controlling longer setups without sacrificing brightness or the ability to program high-resolution content.
Explore 12V long-range LED pixel strips
We’re here to help.
At ENTTEC, we take great pride in the personal, hands-on approach that we bring to our customers. Whether you’re dealing with LED lights and control systems for a football stadium or your spare bedroom … if it’s important to you, then it’s important to us.