What is better than smart RGB LEDs? Smart RGB+White LEDs! These NeoPixels now have 4 LEDs in them (red, green, blue and white) for excellent lighting effects. Make your own smart RGBW LED arrangement with the same integrated LED driver that is used in our NeoPixel LED strips.
The NeoPixel is 'split', one half is the RGB you know and love, the other half is a white LED with a yellow phosphor. Unlit, it resembles a yellow starburst. Lit up these are insanely bright (like ow my eye hurts) and can be controlled with 8-bit PWM per channel (8 x 4 channels = 32-bit colour overall). Great for adding lots of colourful + warm white dots to your project!
These tiny 5050 (5mm x 5mm) SMD LEDs are fairly easy to solder and they're the most compact way possible to integrate multiple bright LEDs to a design. If you want to prototype with these, we recommend our 5050-size LED breakout PCBs, solder them on for a breadboard-friendly package
NeoPixel LEDs use 800 KHz protocol so specific timing is required. On NeoPixels, the PWM rate is 400 Hz, which works well but is noticeable if the LED is moving. In comparison, DotStars have a 20 KHz PWM rate, so even when moving the LED around, you won't see the pixelation, the blending is very smooth. (we recommend DotStars if you can use them)
NeoPixels are 5050-sized LEDs with an embedded microcontroller inside the LED. You can set the brightness of each R/G/B/W. Each LED acts as a shift register, reading incoming data on the input pins, and then shifting the previous data out on the output pin. By sending a long string of data, you can control an infinite number of LEDs, just tack on more or disconnect unwanted LEDs at the end. The PWM is built into each LED-chip so once you set the brightness you can stop talking to the strip and it will continue to PWM all the LEDs for you.
We have a tutorial showing wiring, power usage calculations, example code for usage, etc. for NeoPixel Please check it out! Please note you will need a NeoPixel library with RGBW support which is not always available. If you try to control these with a plain 'RGB' NeoPixel library, you'll get very weird results. Our Adafruit NeoPixel library does support RGBW but if you're using something else, just be aware that it might require some hacking.
- Single LED: 5mm x 5mm / 0.2" x 0.2"