An Introduction to LED Pixel Lighting Technology

An Introduction to LED Pixel Lighting Technology

An Introduction to LED Pixel Lighting Technology

LED Tape Vs Digital Pixel LED Tape

The main difference with LED tape is that all the LEDs are controlled as one. If you change the colour of the LED tape e.g., blue to red the entire length of tape changes to the same colour. LED tape is a fantastic option for changing or enhancing the ambience in a venue such as a bar, hotel, restaurant, and other locations.

Digital Pixel LED Tape you can control individual or a group of the LEDs. Having such control, a digital addressable strip can create amazing effects from a simple chasing effect where the LEDs light up one by one through to much more complex effects where you can create images and effects which have the WOW factor. 

A main aspect to consider when selecting LED pixel strip lights is the Pixels per metre or PPM. a higher PPM means that there are more LED pixels in one meter of the strip, which allows for finer detail and smoother transitions between colours. On the other hand, a lower PPM will result in a more jagged appearance of patterns and less accurate colour representation.

PPM is an important consideration when selecting pixel LED strip lights, as it can impact the quality of the lighting effects that can be achieved with the strip.

Below is an demonstration on the kind of effects that can be generated using LED pixel tape:

Pixel Control Benefits

To create these fantastic effects, you can use a preprogramed simple standalone controller or, for professional, use one of our Advatek options. With all pixel projects we are here to help and produce the best solutions for your requirements.

You can think of Pixel Tape as a very low-resolution LED Video Screen but controlled via a Pixel Controller instead of SDI or HDMI.

SPI, Digital, Addressable, Pixel…what does it mean?

Pixel tape is flexible circuit board which is populated by multi-coloured, addressable surface mounted (SMD) light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The flexible circuit board usually has an adhesive backing, which aids with quick and easy installation

Addressable LED strips are light strips that have unique chips that allow you to control individual LEDs or groups of them.

Digital LED strips are also called video, dream or pixel LED strips. The main benefit comparing to standard LED strips is that you can control every single LED diode colour separately. This allows you to use digital LED strips to display even video format

SPI stands for Serial Peripheral Interface. SPI digital LED controller is designed for use as a master controller with basic functions for Digital LED Strip and Digital Neon Flex.

What about RGB versus RGBW tape? Which do I choose?

This depends on the end user application. RGB Pixel Tape uses a 3-in-1 colour (red, green, and blue) LED chip. By having the three colours, red, green, and blue, at full brightness, the end user can obtain a nearly white colour. RGB Tape also uses 3 channels per led, which means lesser number of DMX addresses, when it comes to mapping them.

RGBW Pixel tape has a 4-in-1 colour (red, green, blue, and white) LED chip. Although RGB can produce a colour close to white, the dedicated white LED of the RGBW Pixel Tape provides a much purer white tone. RGBW tape uses 4 channels per led, which means a larger number of DMX universe will be required during mapping the Tape.

LED Pixel Lighting Control

Controlling Pixel LED lights involves sending signals to individual LEDs in a matrix or strip to change their colour, brightness, and pattern. There are different methods for controlling Pixel LED lights, each with its own advantages and limitations.

  • Microcontroller:

    One of the most common ways to control Pixel LED lights is by using a microcontroller such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or Teensy. The microcontroller sends signals to the LED strip or matrix, specifying the colour, brightness, and pattern of each LED. This method provides a high level of flexibility and control, allowing for complex animations and lighting effects.

  • Pixel Controllers:

    Pixel Controllers are advanced LED controllers designed to provide high-quality control for LED pixel lighting applications. These controllers offer a range of features and capabilities that make them ideal for use in a variety of lighting applications, from stage and event lighting to architectural and commercial lighting.

    One of the key features of Pixel Controllers is their compatibility with a wide range of LED pixel protocols, including WS2811, WS2812 and APA102. This makes them a versatile option for controlling different types of LED lighting installations.

    Pixel Controllers generally offer a range of advanced features, such as built-in pattern generation, colour correction, and advanced mapping capabilities. This allows users to create complex lighting effects and animations, as well as fine-tune the colour and brightness of each individual LED.

  • Software:

    Software applications such as Jinx, Glediator, and MadMapper allow users to create custom animations and effects for Pixel LED lights. These applications usually require a computer or laptop to run and a compatible LED controller to send the signals to the LEDs.

What are LED pixel protocols?

When controlling Pixel LED lights, it is important to consider the power requirements of the LED strip or matrix. Pixel LED lights require a significant amount of power, and it is important to ensure that the power supply is sufficient to prevent damage to the LED strip or matrix. It is also important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for wiring and connecting the LEDs to ensure safe and reliable operation.

LED pixel protocols are a set of communication standards used to control LED pixels in various lighting applications. These protocols allow for precise control of individual LED pixels, enabling them to display complex patterns, animations, and colours.

There are several popular LED pixel protocols in use today, each with its own unique features and characteristics. Some of the most common protocols include:

  • WS2812B: Also known as "NeoPixels," this protocol is a one-wire communication protocol that uses a single data line to control all the LED pixels in a strip. It allows for individual control of each pixel's brightness and colour and is widely used in a variety of lighting projects.
  • APA102: This protocol is a two-wire communication protocol that supports faster data transfer rates than WS2812B. It also allows for individual control of brightness and colour and is commonly used in LED matrix displays.
  • SPI: This protocol is a popular serial communication protocol that is used in a variety of applications, including LED pixel control. It allows for fast data transfer rates and can be used to control multiple LED strips or pixels at once.
  • LPD8806: This protocol is a two-wire communication protocol that is similar to APA102 but is less commonly used. It supports individual control of brightness and colour and is often used in LED strip and matrix displays.

Overall, LED pixel protocols are a critical component of modern lighting systems, enabling precise control and dynamic visual effects in a wide range of applications.

What type of surface will be suitable for installing pixel tape?

The LED Pixel tape needs to be installed on a clean and dry surface. Please clean the surface with alcohol using a clean cloth prior to installation.

The surface should be thermally conductive and permit sufficient heat dissipation from the tape. Surface should not be textured or a low surface energy material.

Check out our aluminium profile range to get an idea of the best surfaces for optimum performance