We start this blog with comparison below shows you the main differences between Analog and Digital LED strips.
|Colors||only one||different for each LED|
|Controls on hardware level||DMX||SPI|
|Typical user control||DMX console or software||video software, live video stream, Art-Net, SD-card|
|Voltage||12V, 24V, 220V||5V|
|Typical number of LEDs per meter||32, 60, 80||30, 32, 42, 60, up to 144|
|Cut segment||3 or 6 LEDs||1 LED|
|Typical usage||decorative lightning||decorative lightning with video projection|
|Typical current per meter of strip||1A at 12V, 0.5A at 24V||1.2A at 5V|
|Can be controlled using LED Strip Studio||yes (additional LED DMX dimmers are required)||yes|
Analog LED strips
Generally, analog strips allow you to change color of the strip, but you can get only one color on the strip at once. They are ordinarily used to illuminate decorations in club, TV studios or buildings themselves.
Way of control Analog LED Strips
Analog strips are frequently controlled over DMX or using remote controls. In case you use single color analog LED strips (usually white), you are able to connect them directly into the power source.
But the most common way of controlling analog LED strips is over DMX signal. This allows you to change color of the strips using standard DMX lightning console (or software).
Voltage of Analog LED Strips
Typically, analog LED strips use 12V, 24V or 220V voltage. They are normally distributed in 5m rolls and use 60 LED diodes per meter (but there are also less or more LEDs per meter versions available).
Digital LED strips
Digital LED strips are also called video, dream or pixel LED strips. The main benefit comparing to analog LED strips is that you can control every single LED diode color separately. This allows you to use digital LED strips to display even video information. Traditionally, it is achieved thanks to additional chips (IC) assembled directly inside the LED diode or on the digital strip board.
Digital LED strips can be used to achieve amazing animated light effects in clubs, TV studios or even buildings. They can be used for decorations, but also for displaying video content for advertisement purposes.
Digital LED strips are great for any-shape LED screens. And yes, we can turn your car into an LED screen.
Digital LED strips are usually more complicated to control, since you have to provide video content for the LED strips. Users often use computer software, Art-Net, live video stream or SD card as a video source.
On hardware level the digital strips receive video information over SPI (Serial Protocol Interface). Every single LED of digital strip uses one chunk of RGB data in SPI data packet.
Now, pay attention. You have a little issue with the digital LED strips SPI communication – there is not only one standard. There are many control IC chips and every one of them uses different kind of SPI signal. The most common types are WS2811, WS2812, TM1803, TM1809, SK6812, UCS, APA102 or APA104. LED Strip Studio system supports all common types of IC.
Way of control Digital LED Strips
Typically, the SPI controllers receive video information over Ethernet cables from computer software or Art-Net. But there are also controllers using SD-card or live video stream (e.g. from HDMI) as a video source.
Voltage of Digital LED Strips
Digital LED strips usually work at 5V voltage, although there are also some 12V or 24V versions (these allow controlling only 3 LED as one pixel). We often use 42 LEDs/m version, but you can find many kinds of digital LED strips, anyway.