A complete: How to choose RGB vs. RGBW vs. RGBIC vs. RGBWW vs. RGBCCT LED Strip Lights

Table of Contents

Fascinating. But what distinguishes these RGB lights from one another? Let’s explore their differences.

What Does RGB Stand For In LED Lighting?

To understand what an RGB LED strip light is, you need to grasp the concept of RGB. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue, the primary colors used in digital color rendering. By mixing these colors in different intensities (ranging from 0 to 255 for each color), RGB can produce a vast array of colors, specifically 16,777,216 possible combinations (255255255)

RGB LED strip lights utilize 3-in-1 chips that combine red, green, and blue LEDs. This configuration theoretically allows the creation of over 16 million colors. However, in practical applications, achieving some specific colors can be challenging.

Smart RGB LED strips, also known as color-changing strip lights, offer a wide range of color options. These strips often come with a DIY color feature, enabling users to customize and select their preferred colors.

smd5050 led strip rgb
smd5050 led strip rgb

What Is RGBIC? The RGBIC Meaning?

RGBIC stands for RGB with an Integrated Circuit. This technology allows for individual control of each LED or group of LEDs, similar to Addressable RGB (ARGB) and Digital RGB (DRGB). Common IC chips used in RGBIC lights include WS2812B, WS2811, WS2815, and SK6812. An RGBIC strip light, such as the SK6812 strip light, allows for complex lighting patterns and effects.

Summary: RGBIC LED strip light is a utility home improvement. It can display various colors simultaneously. However, it cannot be cut like regular RGB strip lights. And RGBIC strip light is more expensive than RGB and RGBW strip light.

For more information, you can read The Ultimate Guide To Addressable LED Strip.

ws2815 144 led

RGBIC LED Strip Light vs. Normal RGB Strip Light


RGBIC strips, often associated with brands like Govee, cannot typically be cut without losing functionality. In contrast, many addressable RGB strips can be cut at designated points and use external controllers for color changes. Cutting lines are essential for determining where a strip can be safely divided.

What Is RGBW? What’s RGBW Lighting?

RGBW lights include an additional white LED alongside the red, green, and blue LEDs. This setup allows for the creation of pure white light and a broader spectrum of colors.

  • RGBW = Red, Green, Blue + White (4-in-1 LED)
  • RGBW = RGB light + White light
  • RGBW = R + G + B + W

Addressable RGBW

Addressable RGBW LED strips add IC driver chips to each LED or group of LEDs, allowing for individual control and varying colors and brightness levels. These require specific controllers capable of handling data signals like TTL, SPI, or DMX512.

rgbw cct
rgbw cct

What Is RGBWW? What’s RGBWW Meaning?

RGBWW can mean RGB plus Warm White or RGB plus White and Warm White, depending on the product. It’s crucial to check product details to understand whether it represents RGB+WW (Warm White) or RGB+W+W (White + Warm White, similar to RGBCCT).

  • RGBWW = RGB + Warm White (RGB + WW)
  • RGBWW = RGB + White + Warm White (RGB + W + W)

What Is RGBCW?


RGBCW stands for RGB plus Cool White or RGB plus Cool White plus Warm White. RGBNW refers to RGB plus Natural White. Typically, in LED strips, RGBWW and RGBCW are similar, both including RGB plus two white lights.

  • RGBCW = RGB + Cool White (RGB + CW)
  • RGBCW = RGB + Cool White + Warm White (RGB + CW + WW)



RGBCCT allows for the adjustment of both RGB colors and the white color temperature, generally from 2700K to 6500K. RGBCCT lights offer the most extensive range of color options and are ideal for applications needing both dynamic color and adjustable white light.

  • RGBCCT = 5-in-1 RGBCCT light
  • RGBCCT = RGB + CCT light (RGB + CCT)
  • RGBCCT = RGBW light + white light (RGBW + W)
  • RGBCCT = RGB + Warm White + Cool White (RGB + WW + CW)

A Table Showing the Difference


Colors Red, Green, Blue Red, Green, Blue, White Red, Green, Blue, White, Warm White(Cold White) Red, Green, Blue, White, Warm White Red, Green, Blue, White, Warm White
Chip 3 in 1 4 in 1 5 in 1 5 in 1 + built-in IC 5 in 1 + CCT Chip
Color Changing Single Single Multiple Multiple Multiple
Brightness Bright Ultra-Bright Ultra-Bright Ultra-Bright Ultra-Bright
Price Normal Medium Medium Expensive Expensive

Addressable RGBCCT


Addressable RGBCCT LED strips use ICs like FW1906, TM1906, DMX512, and HD108 for a broad range of colors. The WS2811 RGB+CCT strip combines addressable RGB LEDs with PWM CCT LEDs.

addressable led strip vs nonaddressable led strip
addressable led strip vs nonaddressable led strip


RGBIC lights include an intelligent control chip, allowing for more complex color settings where each LED can display a different color simultaneously. In contrast, standard RGB strips can only display one color at a time across the entire strip.



The key difference between RGB and RGBW lights is the purity and range of white light. RGBW strips include an additional white LED for pure white light, enhancing color mixing capabilities compared to RGB strips, which produce a bluish-white light by mixing red, green, and blue.

rgb 5050
rgb 5050



RGBWW strips have an additional white LED, usually warm white, allowing for more versatile white light options. This setup provides a broader range of white light temperatures compared to RGBW strips, which only have one type of white LED.



Types Features
RGB LED Strip Lights 3-in-1 LED chip
RGBIC LED Strip Lights Includes smart IC chip for individual control
RGBW LED Strip Lights Extra white LED for pure white light
RGBWW LED Strip Lights RGB + Warm White, or RGB + White + Warm White
RGBCW LED Strip Lights RGB + Cool White, or RGB + Cool White + Warm White
RGBNW LED Strip Lights RGB + Natural White
RGBCCT LED Strip Lights RGB + CCT (adjustable white light)

In summary, RGBWW = RGBCW = RGBCCT, as they all include RGB plus adjustable white light options. RGBIC lights offer intelligent control, while RGBW, RGBCW, and RGBWW strips provide various white light options.

Does RGBIC Have White?


RGBIC LEDs can produce a bluish-white light by combining red, green, and blue channels but lack a dedicated white LED for pure white light.

Is RGBW Better Than RGB?

RGBW is often considered better than RGB for applications needing pure white light and more accurate color mixing. RGBW strips can produce a broader spectrum of colors and more natural white light than RGB strips.

RGB vs. RGBW vs. RGBIC LED Strip Light


RGB, RGBW, and RGBIC are commonly discussed on the internet. You can refer to the simple comparison between the strip lights if you are finding their differences.

Features                     RGB Strip Lights           RGBW Strip Lights         RGBIC Strip Lights
Chip 3-in-1 chip 4-in-1 chip 3-in-1 chip + built-in IC
Color changing Single Single Multiple
Brightness Bright Ultra-Bright Ultra-Bright
Price Normal Medium Expensive

RGBIC strip can display multiple colors on a strip light at the same time. RGB, on the other hand, can only display one color at a time.

How do I choose between RGB, RGBW and RGB-CCT?


Versatility: RGB is the most commonly used and cost-effective option, offering a wide range of color combinations.

White Options: Opt for RGBW if you need versatile lighting with options like white, warm white, and cool white. RGBWW provides warm white, while RGBCW offers cool white, bridging the gap between RGB and RGBCCT in terms of functionality and cost.

Adjustability: For maximum flexibility, RGB-CCT LED lights are ideal. They allow for adjustable white color temperatures alongside vibrant RGB colors. While they may be more expensive, they provide extensive color theme options suitable for various lighting applications.

FAQs of RGB vs. RGBW vs. RGBIC vs. RGBWW vs. RGBCCT LED Strip Lights

Why are RGB lights so popular?


  1. High safety. RGB lights emit light sources that do not contain harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays, which will not affect your health and eyesight.
  2. Low cost. RGB lighting equipment is becoming more and more accessible, and it is already very cheap. And RGB lights also consume significantly less energy than traditional light bulbs. This means that you can turn your space into a creative, comfortable, and colorful space for a small amount of money.
  3. Easy to use. Onforu’s RGB lights plug directly into the electricity can be used. All you need to do is determine where to install or place them. No setup is required, and you can create a colorful lighting environment with the push of a button.
  4. Combine a variety of colors. Onforu’s RGB lights are available in 16 million colors. You can customize your favorite colors at will to apply to different spaces and create a different mood atmosphere.
  5. Perfect for setting the mood. The RGB lights’ pink, red, blue, and green lighting can better help you relax. Cool white lighting may not be suitable for experiencing after a tiring day at work. RGB lights can also fill your space with yellow, orange, and purple, so you can find the color that can relax you.

How does RGB light work?


The RGB LED controller varies the power of each of the three channels (red, green and blue) to create a specific colour mix. For example, to create violet, the red and blue channels would be wound, while the green channel would be completely off. Mixing blue and red light will give you the violet you are looking for.

Are RGB lights bad for eyes?


No, RGB lights will not directly harm your eyes, but if your eyes look at the light emitted by LEDs for long periods of time you may increase your chances of developing cataracts and other age-related eye diseases. Try to avoid looking at the lights for long periods of time.

I need pure white light in addition to colors. Which one should I choose?


RGBW or RGBWW LED strip lights are ideal for producing pure white light along with a full spectrum of colors.

Can I create dynamic lighting effects with any of these strips?

Yes, RGBIC LED strip lights are best for dynamic effects, as they can display multiple colors simultaneously.

 What should I choose if I need adjustable white light?


 RGB-CCT LED strip lights offer adjustable white color temperature, providing the most flexibility in white light settings.

Are there any options that allow for individual segment control?

RGBIC LED strips offer individual segment control, allowing for unique and customizable lighting effects.



Each of them has its own merits, and you need to choose with your personal needs. It’s not that RGB has fewer functions or is necessarily worse than RGBIC, it can also add a lot of ambient colors to your environment.

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