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LED Strip Control

How can I control analog LED strips? #


Analog LED strips are typically controlled over DMX. Here is a video about it:




How can I control addressable pixel LED strips? #

To control digital LED strip you need some SPI (Serial Protocol Interface) output. There are usually Ethernet to SPI, Art-Net to SPI or standalone SPI controllers available (in our case LEC3, SPI Matrix or SPI LED controller).



What is TM1809, WS2811, …? #

There are different kinds of digital LED strips. The differ in kind of IC (control chip) used to control the LED pixel color. Most common chips are WS or TM. There are different kinds of WS and TM chips, like WS2801, WS2811, WS2811B, TM1803, TM1809, … All of them can be controlled by using LED Strip Studio products – LEC 3, LEC SPI, LEC Powered and LED Strip Studio Software.

Typical pixel LED strip types: WS2811, WS2812, WS2815, SK6812, TM1803, APA102 and many more.



Why don’t we recommend to use DMX to control pixel LEDs? #

It’s the fact that DMX is very limited. If you use one DMX universe, you have 512 DMX channels available, which is enough to control only 170 LED RGB pixels (512/3=170).

Typically, our installations use 200 and more meters of LED strips. In case you use 32 LEDs/m digital LED strip, you need to control 6400 (200*32) RGB pixels, which is, altogether, 38 DMX universes! Imagine using so many cables and you will definitely go crazy. What a nuthouse to use DMX for digital LED strips. For closer description, please, look below.




Why don’t we recommend to use Art-Net to control pixel LEDs? #

Art-Net is much better to use to control addressable pixel LED strips. But still you need to chain the Art-Net universes, somehow to control more than 170 LEDs from one output. It’s both complicated and expensive (you still need lots of Art-Net nodes). To control so many LED pixels, the Ethernet communication of the Art-Net protocol is overload. However, if you still need to switch between the animations or change brightness, you can use Art-Net to control LED Strip Studio software in standalone mode (or SPI Matrix and LEC3 devices too).



How does LED Strip Studio Software controls pixel LED strips? #

We use our own protocol working over Ethernet. The output for Digital LED strips is SPI (Serial Protocol Interface), which supports all WS and TM Digital LED strip families. The benefit of our custom protocol is high throughput, because the data is compressed in real time and you don’t need to think in “Art-Net Universes”.



How many LEDs (RGB pixels) can I control while using LED Strip Studio? #

The short answer is unlimited. We have been testing our software to control 100,000 LEDs and it was working just fine. We know, for the LED screen guys 200,000 sounds funny (e.g. one full HD LED screen uses 2,073,600 LEDs), but for LED strips it’s more than 6km! That’s quite an installation.

The scalability of the LED Strip Studio is possible thanks to using LED Ethernet controller. One LED Strip Studio Ethernet controller (LEC 3, LEC SPI, LEC Powered) can control up to 4096 individual RGB LED pixels. In case you need more, you can use more LEC3 devices.




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