For those of Adafruit who are maybe a little tired of rainbows, Adafruit now have 'smart LEDs' in monochrome! Make your own smart Cool White LED arrangement with the same integrated LED driver that is used in Adafruit's NeoPixel LED strips. Unlit, the color resembles a yellow Starburst. Lit up these are insanely bright (like ow my eye hurts) and can be controlled with 24 bit high-frequency PWM. The phosphor helps diffuse the 3 white dies inside together for a very bright but consistant light, compared to what you get by trying to mix RGB to make white (which never quite looks right)
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, Adafruit recommend Adafruit's 5050-size LED breakout PCBs, solder them on for a breadboard-friendly package
NeoPixel LEDs use 800 KHz protocol so specific timing is required. On NeoPixels, the PWM rate is 400 Hz, which works well but is noticable if the LED is moving. In comparison, DotStars have a 20 KHz PWM rate, so even when moving the LED around, you won't see the pixelation, the blending is very smooth. (we recommend DotStars if you can use them!)
NeoPixels are 5050-sized LEDs with an embedded microcontroller inside the LED. You can set the brightness of each of 3 individual cool white dies epoxied into the case. Each LED acts like a shift register, reading incoming data on the input pins, and then shifting the previous 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 disconnect unwanted LEDs at the end. The PWM is built into each LED-chip so once you set the brightness you can stop talking to the strip and it will continue to PWM all the LEDs for you.
Comes in a package with 10 individual LEDs.
Adafruit have a tutorial showing wiring, power usage calculations, example code for usage, etc. for NeoPixel Please check it out! Please note that the tutorial and code talk about RGB, but of course, this LED is just WWW, three individual white LEDs instead.
- Single LED: 5mm x 5mm / 0.2" x 0.2"
- Adafruit don't have any more specifics about this particular LED other than it is 6000-6500K color temp and seems to have 3 white LEDs in place of the normal Red/Green/Blue
- WS2812 Datasheet
- SK6812 Datasheet
- May ship with either WS2812B or SK6812-based LEDs. They are the same brightness, color and protocol
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