Move over NeoPixels, there's a new LED strip in town! These fancy new DotStar LED strips are a great upgrade for people who have loved and used NeoPixel strips for a few years but want something even better. DotStar LEDs use generic 2-wire SPI, so you can push data much faster than with the NeoPixel 800 KHz protocol and there's no specific timing required. They also have much higher PWM refresh rates, so you can do Persistence-of-Vision (POV) and have less flickering, particularly at low brightness levels.
Make your own smart Warm White LED arrangement with the same integrated LED driver that is used in our new fancy DotStar strips. Unlit, the color resembles an egg yolk. Lit up these are insanely bright (like ow my eye hurts) and can be controlled with 24 bit high-frequency PWM. The phosphor helps diffuse the 3 white dies inside together for a very bright but consistant light, compared to what you get by trying to mix RGB to make white (which never quite looks right)
However, unlike NeoPixels, these LEDs have 2 wires (input and output) for sending data - one clock pin and one data pin. That means you need two pins, not one, to control DotStars. Because the clock and data is separated, you can use any processor speed or type to control these strips, and you don't have to worry about being careful with the timing. Hardware SPI support is handy but not required. This makes them excellent for use with any microcontroller or microprocessor, including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Propeller, SparkCore, and any 'raw' microcontrollers/microprocessors. It's very easy to port the library, and you can send data to the pixels at up to 32MHz clock rate!
They're also a great upgrade for people who have loved and used NeoPixels for a few years but want to use the same kind of technology for monochromatic lighting. DotStar LEDs use generic 2-wire SPI, so you can push data much faster than with the NeoPixel 800 KHz protocol and there's no specific timing required. They also have much higher PWM refresh rates, so you can do Persistence-of-Vision (POV) and have less flickering, particularly at low brightness levels.
This is the 30 LED-per-meter version of our DotStar strips, on white flex PCB.
The strip is made of flexible PCB material, and comes with a weatherproof sheathing. You can cut this stuff pretty easily with wire cutters, there are cut-lines every 1 LED. Solder to the 0.1" copper pads and you're good to go. Of course, you can also connect strips together to make them longer, just watch how much current you need! You must use a 5V DC power supply to power these strips, do not use higher than 6V or you can destroy the entire strip
These strips come in 5 meter reels with a 4-pin JST SM connector on each end.
We have a tutorial showing wiring, power usage calculations, example code for usage, etc. Please check it out!