Addressable LED Strip VS Non Addressable

Table of Contents

Non-addressable RGBs, the whole strip/array of RGB LEDs displays one colour at any time. This colour can transition, shift, breath/pulse, etc, across the entire RGB LED colour spectrum – and AURA provides a variety of snazzy themes/effects – but every RGB LED is always exactly the same colour as all its neighbours 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, Addressable: The most customizable, most controllable, and just generally 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 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 persistence of vision to create images in the air.

Addressable RGBs, each RGB LED (or segment/block of RGB LEDs) can display a different colour and intensity than its neighbours. Some could be lit in one colour 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 are possible. Higher cost and complexity.

Addressable LEDs on the other hand, can have the colour 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.


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