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APA102 vs WS2812B

Suntech Lite is a top manufacturer and supplier that focuses on pixel LED strips and LED neon lights.

A table to easily compare APA102 VS WS2812B LED strips

APA102 and WS2812B are both addressable pixel LED strips that can be controlled individually. Here we have listed their parameters and applications differences, please check the below table:

Chip APA102 WS2812B
PWM Resolution 8-bit (256 levels) 8-Bit (256 levels)
PWM Frequency 20KHz 400Hz
Type RGB 5050 or 2020(Dotstar Micro) Pixel RGB 5050 Pixel
Data Rate <4Mbs 800Kbps Type
Description Best type available in many cases Uses standard 1.25uS bit time
Protocol 4-wire protocol (+,-, clock, data) three-wires (+,-, data)
Timing-sensitive Insensitive Sensitive
Heat sinking Better++ Normal+
Application Telecommunication, office automation, home appliances, industrial equipment Indoor and outdoor LED video or irregular screen, PWM signal generator, LCD TV back lighting, LED decorative lighting
Price Expensive Normal

If you want to know more details about WS2812B VS APA102 LED strip, please click here:

WS2812B LED strip datasheet

APA102 LED Strip datasheet

Then let’s take a deeper look at the difference between APA102 LED strip and WS2812B.

APA102 VS WS2812B

APA102 vs WS2812B mini RGB strip light

APA102 LED Strip

There’s another promising SPI-based chip that looks similar to WS2812 but transfers data faster. APA102 pixel strip uses two standard SPI protocols, a clock line, and a data line. Each LED has two inputs and two outputs and can be connected in a daisy chain. This may seem like a waste, but the advantage is that it can receive support from standard microcontroller peripherals and is not affected by timing variations.

Additionally, data can be transmitted at any clock frequency. APA102 LED strips with 5V, 135leds/M, 144leds/M, and 200leds/M are available for you to choose from. The LED has a very high PWM frequency. Due to the high update rate of the SPI interface, these are more suitable for visualization applications than WS2812.

APA102 LED strip from Sunteh Lite:

For more APA102 LED strip products, please click the up picture.

APA102 is timing-sensitive and requires precise control of the clock and data signals, while WS2812B is less timing-sensitive and uses a fixed timing scheme. APA102 also has a higher PWM frequency and data rate, resulting in smoother color transitions and faster refresh rates.

In addition, it uses a 4-wire protocol (+, -, clock, data) instead of the non-clock chip composed of three wires (+, -, data). APA102 also has the advantages of adjustable brightness and color spectrum. APA102 is also the brightest LED, so this may be what you need if you want more light output.

WS2812B LED Strip

Currently, the WS2812B digital LED strip is one of the most well-known LED strips. It is an intelligent control built-in LED strip that integrates control circuits and RGB chips, which was made available to the public a few years ago. They are also developing a simple library for Arduino-based controllers. The biggest advantage of the WS2812B LED chip over its predecessors is that it includes all the components needed for the LED chip itself. Since its launch, they have quickly become the most affordable LED chip, and it is a 5V chip. For those who pursue high-quality and affordable LED strips, the WS2812B LED strip is undoubtedly a good choice.

WS2812B LED strip from Sunteh Lite:

For more WS2812B LED strip products, please click the up picture.

It can be 60LEDs/M, 144LEDs/M, or 200LEDs/M, and the printed circuit board is generally black and white. Each pixel has one LED, and each LED can be cut.

Common features of APA102 and WS2812B

  • APA102 and WS2812B LED strips are both built-in ICs, and the voltage is 5V.
  • APA102 and WS2812B LED strips do not have a break continue function.
  • Both use one power supply for the control line and LED.
  • Reversing the power supply will not damage the IC, benefiting from the intelligent reverse connection protection function of both products.
  • Built-in signal shaping circuit, which can shape the waveform and send it to the next driver to ensure that the waveform is not distorted.
  • The control circuit is combined with the RGB chip in the 5050 component package, realizing complete control of the pixel point. (APA102’s component types are 2020 and 5050).

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