Make your own smart LED arrangement with the same integrated LED that is used in our new fancy DotStar strips. This tiny 5050 (5mm x 5mm) SMD LED is fairly easy to solder and is the most compact way possible to integrate multiple bright LEDs to a design. If you want to prototype with these, they recommend Adafruit's 5050-size LED breakout PCBs, solder them on for a breadboard-friendly package
They're also a great upgrade for people who have loved and used NeoPixels for a few years but want something even better. DotStar LEDs use genertic 2-wire SPI, so you can push data much faster than with the NeoPixel 800 KHz protocol and there's no specific timing required. They also have much higher PWM refresh rates, so you can do Persistence-of-Vision (POV) and have less flickering, particularly at low brightness levels.
Like NeoPixels, DotStar LEDs are 5050-sized LEDs with an embedded microcontroller inside the LED. You can set the color/brightness of each LED to 24-bit color (8 bits each red green and blue). Each LED acts like a shift register, reading incoming color data on the input pins, and then shifting the previous color data out on the output pin. By sending a long string of data, you can control an infinite number of LEDs, just tack on more or cut off unwanted LEDs at the end. The PWM is built into each LED-chip so once you set the color you can stop talking to the strip and it will continue to PWM all the LEDs for you
Another nice thing about DotStars is their high PWM rate. You only have to set the 24-bit color data for each pixel LED once, and then the LED+built-in-chip will handle the PWMing of the red, green and blue. On NeoPixels, this PWM rate happens 400 Hz, which works theyll but is noticably at lower brightnesses and if the strip is moving in any way. DotStars have a 20 KHz PWM rate, so even when moving the strip around, you won't see the pixelation, the color blending is very smooth.
Comes in a package with 10 individual LEDs.
The manufacturer of the APA102C smart LED used in this strip used to be GRB order, and has changed in 2015 to have BRG color order. This means if you are using Adafruit's DotStar library, you'll need to change the initialization to tell it which you are using. Check the tutorial for details on how to do this! The LED colors are otherwise identical, you just have to pipe the data to it in a slightly different order.
Note: Strips come with 4 solder points per segment, but the arrangement may vary depending on the supplier, so please check when soldering/powering!
- Single LED: 5mm x 5mm / 0.2" x 0.2"