Table of Contents
On most occasions, the SK6812 LED strip can almost completely replace the WS2812B LED strip. There are two biggest differences between SK6812 and WS2812B:
1. SK6812 has a wider color range, including RGB, RGBW, WWA, and single white. But WS2812B is usually only RGB.
2. Compared with WS2812B, SK6812 has almost no voltage drop.
Figure 1. WS2812B LED vs SK6812 LED
Video 1. SK6812 vs WS2812B digital LED strip
SK6812 and WS2812B Comparison Table
|IC Placement||Built-in||Built-in / External|
|LED Quantity||30/60/72/120/144 LEDs/m||30/60/72/96/144 LEDs/m|
|Brightness||800-1000 mcd||500-700 mcd|
|Price:||Slightly more expensive||Cheap|
|SMD LED Size||3535/5050||3535/5050|
|Data Transmission||Single signal||Single signal|
|Wires||Positive + Negative|
+ Data line
|Positive + Negative|
+ Data line
|Gray Scale||256 levels||256 levels|
|Addressable Range||256 per channel||256 per channel|
Table1. A Quick Table Comparing WS2812 and SK6812
If you want to know more product information about SK6812 and WS2812B addressable individually controlled LED strips, go now.
This article takes a closer look at the differences between SK6812 and WS2812B. Let’s get started!
The SK6812 is a straight clone of the WS2812B that has been improved.
SK6812 has RGB, RGBW, WWA, and single white LED color versions. SK6812 RGB is similar to the WS2812B LED.
The main difference between the two is that SK6812 has voltage-independent color and brightness over a wide voltage range, which means that the LED’s color should not be affected by voltage drop as it would be for WS2812B.
SK6812 mini 3535 is a mini version of the SK6812 LED. It uses smaller packaging than the standard 5.0×5.0mm², with a footprint of 3.5×3.5mm², allowing for denser matrix displays. Other than the size difference, it is identical to the SK6812 LED. It is worth noting that it uses different packaging technology and seems to be very sensitive to heat.
Figure 2. SK6812 LED Strip
As you may already know, the WS2812B is an upgraded version of the WS2812.
They are smart, external control LED light sources that integrate control and light-emitting circuits, encapsulating the WS2812 into a 5050 LED SMD.
The advantage of the WS2812B is that it has intelligent reverse connection protection, so the power reverse connection will not damage the IC.
All existing ws2812 libraries are compatible (usually referred to as “NeoPixel”), and they are the most commonly used addressable LED strips in the Arduino community.
Figure 3. WS2812B LED Strip
Comparison: SK6812 vs WS2812B
Both the SK6812 and WS2812B deliver data over a single wire, which is then read by a tiny microcontroller chip to create pulse width modulation (PWM) signals that regulate the brightness and color of each LED channel.
One big difference between them is that SK6812 has more color selectivity than WS2812B.
Figure 4. WS2812B vs SK6812 LED Strip
As you can see, the SK6812 and WS2812 LED strips have many similar features, including individual control of each LED, lower voltage, and low power consumption. However, there are some notable differences between them, including the IC type and brightness.
Both SK6812 and WS2812 offer 8-bit color depth per channel, allowing for up to 16.7 million colors. That means both chips deliver vivid and accurate colors for your lighting project.
Compared with WS2812, SK6812 adopts newer LED chip design, more consistent color mixing and slightly better overall performance.
Both chips use a single-wire control signal, simplifying wiring and reducing the number of connections required for your project.
While both chips require a 5V power supply, the SK6812 typically consumes slightly less power than the WS2812 due to its improved LED chip design.
Both the SK6812 and WS2812 offer refresh rates of up to 30 fps, ensuring smooth transitions and animations for your lighting project.
The price of SK6812 is usually slightly higher than WS2812 because of its higher performance and more advanced LED chip design.
Ultimately, the choice between the SK6812 and WS2812 LED strips will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re looking for the highest possible brightness and color consistency, the SK6812 LED strip may be the best option for you. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable and user-friendly option, the WS2812 LED strip may be the way to go.
How to Control, Connect and Wire SK6812 and WS2812B LED Strip
The videos below show how to connect the SK6812 LED strip and WS2812 LED strip respectively. Click to learn more about how to quickly connect more other addressable LED strips.
SK6812 LED Strip Connection Video
WS2812 LED Strip Connection Video
SK6812 RGB vs WS2812B RGB
SK6812 has four types of RGB LEDs: IC built-in 4020 LED/2020 LED/3535 LED/5050 LED, to achieve addressable RGB LED strips of different sizes. Among them, the 4020 SK6812 RGB is a side-emitting light strip. The 2020 LED is used to make ultra-narrow LED strips. The 5050 SK6812 RGB LED is an exact replica of the 5050 WS2812B RGB LED. The 3535 SK6812, also known as “SK6812 mini,” is a mini version of the SK6812 LED.
Figure 5. WS2812B RGB vs SK6812 RGB vs SK6812 RGBW LED Strip
SK6812 RGBW vs WS2812B RGB
SK6812 can be not only RGB but also RGBW. This adds a white channel to the normal RGB version, with higher brightness and better color mixing options.
WS2812B RGB and SK6812 RGB display white by simultaneously illuminating the R, G, and B channels, producing a bluish-white light. However, the independent white channel of SK6812 RGBW can produce true white light.
SK6812 RGBW’s white channel has three different color temperatures, with each temperature mixed with RGB colors to produce different lighting effects.
RGBWW=RGB+3000K warm white
RGBNW=RGB+4000K natural white
RGBCW=RGB+6000K cool white
SK6812 White vs WS2812B RGB
SK6812 IC allows for the presence of white LEDs and WWA LEDs. 3000K warm white or 6000K daylight white 5050 LED strips can achieve individual addressing of each LED on the strip and change the switch state and brightness through the built-in SK6812 IC. And each LED on the SK6812 WWA LED strip can display different color temperatures.
SK6812 addressable white LED strips and WWA LED strips are available in densities of 30, 60, and 144 LEDs.
Figure 6. RGB WS2812B vs White SK6812 vs WWA SK6812
SK6812 vs WS2812B Performance Comparison
Although SK6812 and WS2812B LEDs are driven by 5V, the brightness, and color of SK6812 LEDs are not affected by voltage drop like WS2812B. This does not mean that SK6812 has no voltage drop, but rather that it has been optimized for this issue.
In addition, SK6812 LEDs have better quality and stability than WS2812B. WS2812B is more susceptible to damage at high temperatures than SK6812.
LED strip manufacturers have also reported that SK6812 has better consistency in color and brightness across the LED strip compared to WS2812B.
In summary, the SK6812 and WS2812B are very similar, with SK6812 being an upgraded version of WS2812B.
SK6812 has a wider voltage range, more color selectivity, and better quality and stability compared to WS2812B. However, WS2812B is more widely used and has more libraries and support in the Arduino community.
Finally, the decision between the two is determined by the project’s unique requirements.
- What is the main difference between SK6812 and WS2812 LED strips?
The main difference between these two LED strips is the IC type. The SK6812 uses the SK6812 IC, while the WS2812 uses the WS2812B IC. The SK6812 is known for its higher brightness and color consistency, as well as its wider range of gray scale levels. The WS2812, on the other hand, is more affordable and easier to use.
- Can I use the same controller for both SK6812 and WS2812 LED strips?
Yes, many controllers are compatible with both SK6812 and WS2812 LED strips. However, it’s important to check the specifications of your controller to ensure compatibility.
- Are SK6812 and WS2812 LED strips compatible with each other?
No, SK6812 and WS2812 LED strips are not compatible with each other. They use different IC types and require different programming.
- Which LED strip is better for creating complex lighting effects?
Both the SK6812 and WS2812 LED strips allow for individual control of each LED, making them ideal for creating complex lighting effects and animations. However, the SK6812 offers a wider range of color options and gray scale levels, which can result in smoother color transitions and more nuanced lighting effects.