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WS2811 Everything You Need to Know

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


WS2811 has become a “sweet potato” in the market because of its cheap price, simple operation and wide application range. Now let’s go over everything you should know before buying a WS2811 LED strip.

Table of Contents

What is WS2811?

The WS2811 is a three-output channel LED driver circuit. The WS2811 LED driver chip is widely used to control LED strips. WS2811 LED strip is usually 30 to 60 LEDs per meter. The voltage is 5V, 12V and 24V. Usually, 12V is more common. 

For more WS2811 LED technical parameters, please click WS2811 Datasheet PDF Download.

5V, 12V and 24V WS2811 LED Strip

Figure 1 is a WS2811 LED strip with different voltages. WS2811 LED strip is an external IC. The WS2811 IC is mounted externally on the PCB. They are voltage compatible and have various cutting devices.

  • WS2811 5V LED Strip: Each LED can be cut and one WS2811 IC controls each LED.
  • WS2811 12V LED Strip: Three RGB lights can be cut and one WS2811 IC controls the brightness and color of these three lights at the same time.
  • WS2811 24V LED Strip: Six RGB LED lights can be cut and one WS2811 IC controls the brightness and color of these six lights at the same time.
WS2811 LED Strip Sunliteleds

Figure 1. 5V WS2811 LED Strip vs 12V LED Strip vs 24V LED Strip

WS2811 White vs WS2811 RGB 

WS2811 not only only has RGB color, but also has more light colors to choose from (As shown in Figure 2 ). For example, addressable white light (3000K warm white or 6000K daylight white), addressable RGB+W, addressable RGB+CCT, etc.

ws2811 programmable white LED strip

ws2811 programmable white led strip

WS2811 digital RGB + White LED strip

WS2811 digital RGB white led strip

WS2811 programmable RGB+CCT LED strip

WS2811 programmable rgb cct led strip

Figure 2. WS2811 Color: White vs RGB

What kind of WS2811 LED strip do you need? 5V, 12V or 24V? What color WS2811 LED strip? White, RGB or RGB+W? Suntech Lite can provide customized WS2811 LED strip according to your engineering needs. Please contact us.

Different Types of WS2811 LED Strip Products

Pros & Cons of WS2811

Given the wide range of applications for 12V WS2811, we will use a 12V WS2811 LED strip as an example to see the benefits and drawbacks of WS2811.

Pros of WS2811:

  • The 12V working voltage can control more LEDs in the strip.
  • Operating with a large number of LEDs is easy.
  • The 12V voltage allows for longer cable lengths.

Cons of WS2811:

  • The minimum control granularity is 3 LEDs because one IC controls 3 LEDs.
  • High power consumption due to operation under 12V voltage.
  • The 8-bit data limitation for each color results in a less smooth dimming curve.
  • No data redundancy available.

How to Use WS2811

WS2811 LED strip has three wires V+, Data and GND, as shown in the Figure 3.

Next let us understand how to control and connect the WS2811 LED strip.

3 pin WS2811 RGB LED strip detail

Figure 3. WS2811 LED Strip Wires

Connect WS2811 LED Strip

This video 1 shows how to quickly connect the controller and WS2811 led strip.
If you want to learn more about the specific connection steps, please click Control, Connect and Wire WS2811 LED Strip.

Video 1. How to Connect WS2811 LED strip

WS2811 Wire Diagram

Figure 4 displays the wiring diagram for the WS2812 RGB LED strip and offline K-1000C LED controller.

WS2812 5v rgb led strip wiring diagram

Figure 4. WS2811 Wire Diagram

How to Control WS2811 LED with Arduino?

Step 1. WS2811 includes an embedded version of WS2811 and three individually controlled LEDs, with an internal oscillator, signal reshaping, an amplification circuit, two digital ports, and an output drive.

Step 2. To control the LEDs, use “for loops” and libraries, with primary cases utilizing WS2812 LEDs, which have a high density, allowing for larger displays.

Step 3. For controlling a large number of LEDs, a LED driver is required, and a T300K controller is recommended for running video files through the LEDs.

Step 4. Ensure the interface is close to the LEDs, use a short data wire, and test with a proper 5V power supply with higher amps for longer life.

Step 5. Use high gauge wires to connect if the voltage is below 3V and avoid using the Z design as it causes serious data issues.

Step 6. Provide power to the LEDs with ones (1s) and zeros using binary representation, where each position in the binary representation has a weight from right to left with power 2 that increases gradually, as shown in Figure 5.

how to use WS2811 with Arduino

Figure 5. How to Control WS2811 with Arduino

How to Program WS2811 through Adafruit?

Step 1. The WS2811 chip can drive a single normal anode RGB LED or three single-color LEDs, with each output having a constant current of ~18mA.

Step 2. The chip is chainable and requires a microcontroller, such as an AVR, Arduino, or PIC, as the protocol is sensitive to timing and can’t be used with a Linux-based microcomputer or a decoded microcontroller.

Step 3. The Neopixel library for Adafruit supports both speeds of the chip, and a 4MHz or faster processor is required for the slower timing rate.

Step 4. The WS2811 chip comes in a package of 10 individual chips, and Adafruit has an all-set component for it in its EAGLE library.

How to Control WS2811 LEDs with Raspberry Pi?

Step 1. Raspberry Pi can be used as a platform for controlling WS2811 LEDs for a light show, with a power cable that can handle the 10A required.

Step 2. After cutting the power cable, carefully connect VCC to V+ and GND to COM, and measure the voltage of the power supply with a multimeter.

Step 3. Raspberry Pi runs a custom Python sequencer program that takes inputs from an MP3 file and a sequence file to run the entire sequence.

Step 4. With the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO interface, 8 solid-state relays are used to control 8 series of lights, which are more than sufficient for a typical tree.

Customized Your WS2811 LED Strip

As one of the leading suppliers of pixel light strips in China, Suntech Lite provides you with LED strip customization services. Whether residential, commercial or even industrial, meet all your lighting needs. ODM & OEM are available.

WS2811 IC digital LED Strips

Figure 6. Customized WS2811 LED Strip from Suntech Lite

Optional customized content as shown in Figure 6:

  • Number of LEDs
  • PCB color and shape
  • Color, can be white, RGB and RGBW
  • Waterproof function: IP20, IP65, IP67
  • 3M adhesive tape
  • Logo on PCB and package

Please tell us your design or proposal, and Suntech Lite will give you a satisfactory idea.

LED Strip Light Controllers for WS2811

Other Products Using WS2811 LED

Feature: One WS2811 IC controls 3 LEDs. 3 LEDs are one pixel. Each pixel is individually addressable.

Application: Widely used in wall lighting, backlighting, stage design lighting, display cabinet lighting, festival (Christmas, etc.) lighting, ceiling lighting, etc.

Feature: High brightness super high quality LEDs. The shell is high-quality, heat-resistant, high light transmittance, and UV-resistant. Simple to install.

Application: Ideal for lighting storefronts, restaurants, nightclubs, streets, sidewalks, stairs, porches, roofs, railings or driveways.

Feature: 360-degree, high-brightness, easy install, waterproof, easy transport, and low power consumption.

Application: exhibition, architectural lighting, lighting decoration, and indoor and outdoor landscape decoration, etc.

Feature: Suitable for complex surface plasticity, programmable, energy-saving.

Application: Ideal for signage, advertising displays, architectural decorative lighting, bars, nightclubs, home decoration.

Feature: Support RGB/W, 3535 / 5050 / 2835 SMD LEDs, IP67, 5 years warranty. Diameter: 18mm, 30mm, 50mm, 80mm are available

Application: LED pixel light applies to facade lighting, landscape lighting, and architectural lighting.

Comparison of WS2811 and others

There are so many types of addressable light strips that you might get confused a lot of the time. Now let me tell you the difference between WS2811, WS2812B, UCS1903 and WS2818.

WS2811 Vs WS2812B

As shown in Figure 7, take the most popular 12V WS2811 and 5V WS2812B on the market as an example. Table 1 quickly compares WS2811 and WS2812B. 

Click for more details about WS2811 Vs WS2812B.


  • WS2811 is 12V, while WS2812B is 5V.
  • WS2812B LED color is usually RGB, while WS2811 has more colors.
  • WS2811 is an external IC, while WS2812B is a built-in IC.
  • WS2811 is 3 LEDs group control, while WS2812B is individual control.
  • Because of a 12V working voltage, WS2811 has a lower voltage drop than WS2812B.


  • 3 wires: Positive, negative and single date line.
  • No break-point continuous.
ws2811 vs ws 2812b from suntech

Figure 7. 12V WS2811 LED Strip Vs 5V WS2812B LED Strip

Comparison ItemWS2811WS2812B
Integrated CircuitExternalBuilt-In
Control Mode3 LEDs Group ControlIndividual Control
Voltage DropLowHigh
WiresPositive + Negative + Single Data LinePositive + Negative + Single Data Line
Break ContinuesNoNo

Table 1. WS2811 Vs WS2812B

WS2811 Vs WS2818

As shown in Figure 8, take the 12V WS2811 and 12V WS2818 as an example. Table 2 quickly compares WS2811 and WS2818.


  • WS2811 has 3 wires: Positive, negative and single date line. But WS2818 has 4 wires: Positive, negative and two date line.
  • WS2811 has no break-point continuous, while WS2818 has break-point continuous.


  • 12V voltage.
  • External IC
  • One IC controls 3 LEDs.

Comparison ItemWS2811WS2818
WiresPositive + Negative + Single Data LinePositive + Negative + Dual Data Lines
Break ContinuesNoYes
Integrated CircuitExternalExternal
Control Mode3 LEDs Group Control3 LEDs Group Control

Table 2. WS2811 Vs WS2818

WS2811 VS UCS1903 vs WS2818

Figure 8. WS2811 Vs WS2818 Vs UCS1903 LED Strip

WS2811 Vs UCS1903

WS2811 and UCS1903 can be said to be almost identical. Their manufacturers are different. UCS1903 is launched by Linesun-ic Company.

The UCS1903 LED strip is similar to the WS2811 LED strip, as shown in Table 3. Any controller that can control the WS2811 LED can also control the UCS1903. UCS1903 external IC addressable light strip for DC12v, one IC controls three LEDs, each 3LED can be cut.

Both WS2811 and UCS1903 do not have the break-point continuous function, as shown in the Figure 8 above.

Comparison Item WS2811 UCS1903
Integrated Circuit External IC External IC
Voltage DC12v DC12v
Wires Positive + Negative+Single Data line Positive + Negative+Single Data line

Table 3. WS2811 Vs UCS1903

China WS2811 LED Strip Supplier & Manufacturer—Suntech Lite

Looking for the best WS2811 LED strip supplier?

Suntech Lite is a top-notch manufacturer and supplier in China. With years of experience, we offer a full range of high-quality WS2811 strips, including addressable white, warm white, WWA, CCT and RGB WS2811 strips.

Our products are ETL, CE, RoHS certified for high performance and long lifespan. We also provide customized solutions and OEM/ODM services.

ISO9001 2015 Suntech
CE Suntech
RoHS Suntech
FCC Suntech
driver CE

Choose Suntech Lite for your LED strip needs.


Learn everything you need to know about WS2811 LED strips with our in-depth guide. Discover technical specs, common uses, installation tips, programming tricks, and WS2811 LED strip supplier Suntech Lite. With their versatility and compatibility, WS2811 LED strips are perfect for custom lighting effects in homes, businesses, and creative projects. Choose WS2811 for your next LED driver IC.

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