Bringing you the best in digital LED pixel strips
Manufactured to the highest quality, our individually-addressable digital LED pixel strips come in a range of voltages and grouping types. Choose from varieties of 30, 60 or 144 LEDs per metre depending upon the requirements of your project.
We custom-design PCB layouts and, importantly, use extra-wide 3oz copper tracks to ensure both minimal voltage drop and maximum performance. All of our strips feature a 32-bit, True Colour display, Scan frequency of 400Hz+/s and adhesive backing for easy installation.
You’ll notice that most LED tapes on the market are white in colour. However, we also offer black PCB styles which are becoming increasingly popular. These minimise external light reflection and hide your installation when the display is switched off. Perfect for the stealth lighting designer!
With their lightweight, space-saving design, ENTTEC has an LED pixel tape for every project!
RGB Pixels are digitally-controllable lights you can set to any color, or animate. Each pixel contains an RGB LED and a controller chip molded into a ‘dot’ of silicone, with flanges so they can be pushed into holes in thin sheet material. The dots are waterproof and rugged — they’re typically used to make outdoor signs.
12mm RGB pixels come in two different shapes: “bullet” (thin) and “square” (flat). Both use the same type of LED, driver chip and data protocols…the main difference is how they can be mounted: bullets fit better into narrow spaces, while squares are better suited to shallow spaces.
Both types use an 8mm diffused RGB LED (“12mm” refers to the size of the mounting hole for installation) — diffused pixels mix colors nicer. At 5 volts, they draw a maximum of 60 milliamps per pixel: 20 mA each for red, green and blue.
The LED pixels are spaced along a strand of ribbon cable, with about 3 inches (75mm) between pixels. If additional distance is needed you can cut the ribbon cable and solder 4 wires to extend the gap to the desired length.
Each pixel contains a small microchip within the silicone dot. The WS2801 LED driver chip is custom designed for this purpose. We provide an Arduino library for communicating with the pixels (explained in subsequent pages), but if you want to write your own code for other microcontrollers, they’re very easy to communicate with using an SPI-like protocol. For each pixel, one “shifts out” 24 bits of color information — the first data out corresponds to the pixel closest to the microcontroller. To write colors to 10 LEDs, you would issue 240 bits (10 * 24). Following the data, a 500 microsecond pause will then “latch” the data and display the new LED colors.
Understanding a Pixel
When determining the true quality of an LED display you must first understand what a pixel is and how it relates to LED. Per Dictionary.com, a pixel is “the smallest element of an image that can be individually processed in a video display system.” Gibberish right?! To simplify it, pixels are tiny lights that glow in combination to make an image on an LED display. One Pixel is made up of three colored lights (Red, Green and Blue), called lamps, that when combined can create billions of different colors. Overall, the number of pixels that make up the display will determine the true quality of image you can expect.
Resolution and what it means…
When you go to a big box store and purchase a new TV you have three main options now-a-days: 720p, 1080p, or 4k. 1080p is higher quality than 720p and 4k is higher quality than 1080p. The true meaning of each of these are below:
Standard Definition: There are 480 Pixels Vertical and 640 Pixels Horizontal totaling 307,200 pixels
720p: There are 720 Pixels vertical and 1280 Pixels Horizontal totaling 921,600 total pixels
1080p: There are 1080 Pixels vertical and 1920 Pixel Horizontal totaling 2,073,600 total pixels.
4k: There are 2160 Pixels vertical and 3840 Pixel Horizontal totaling 8,297,400 total pixels.
#1 RULE: In order for a display to be considered HD (High Definition), the resolution must be a minimum of 720 x 1280. Don’t be misled as sometimes companies hide the term “High Density” (referring to pixel pitch) in their branding using the acronym HD. If you are not sure, ask if it is true High Definition.
#2 RULE: Custom LED displays come in all shapes, sizes and resolutions. Always try to compare apples to apples. This means you should be comparing the exact physical size, resolution and total number of pixels from all products being offered to you. Less total pixels and lamps should equal lower cost. A good tip to help compare is to calculate the total number of pixels per square foot of your display, which will level the playing field when you have displays that are not exactly the same size. (Total Number of Pixels / (Length in feet x Width in feet) = Pixels per square foot)
Hidden in the design…
Another important factor in the quality of a display is the Pixel Pitch and design of the display. Pixel Pitch refers to the distance the center of one pixel is from the center of another pixel in a display. Typically the smaller the pixel pitch the higher quality the display will be. However, the way pixels are arranged in LED displays will also play an important factor. Smaller pixel pitch will not always mean higher quality if the pixels are not arranged appropriately.
There are four general pixel designs: Standard, Array, SMD or Vertical. Here is how each design is arranged inside an LED:
Closer Look at the design reveals the true quality…
Each design has pros and cons. Standard is most commonly used outdoors and offers good quality when looking for a tight pixel pitch. Array has four lamps per pixel rather than the usual three, this makes it the highest quality but also the most expensive. SMD is most frequently used indoors and is comparable in quality to standard. Vertical is arranged in a way that can leave gaps in the display. The gaps can help make blacks appear blacker but also result in fewer pixels per square foot than other designs. While pixel pitch and pixel design are an important factor to consider when purchasing your display remember, always focus on the number of total pixels, total lamps and actual physical size to determine the quality.