As you may have noticed, WS2811 and WS2812 are the ICs to look out for when purchasing addressable LED string lights. WS2811 typically consumes a lot of power at 12V, however WS2812 requires just 5V and consumes a lot less power.
These are not the only distinctions between WS2811 and WS2812. I can provide more details to help you make the right purchase.
Differences between WS2811 VS WS2812 LED Lighting
For more detailed information, you can download the WS2811 and WS2812 LED strip datasheets.
A table to understand the differences: WS2811 VS WS2812
|WS2811 LED Strip
|WS2812B LED Strip
|LEDs Per Meter
|Positive + Negative + Single Data Line
|Positive + Negative + Single Data Line
|3 LEDs Group Control
|IC Quantity [60 LEDs/Meter For Example]
So, let’s delve deeper into the significant differences between WS2811 and WS2812. Note that the comparison of the following content mainly takes 12V WS2811 and 5V WS2812 as examples.
Video: 12V WS2811 vs 5V WS2812 LED strip
WS2811 is a dedicated LED driver circuit for 3-channel output. It has an intelligent data latch and signal shaping amplification driver circuit, as well as an accurate internal oscillator and a configurable constant current output driver at 12V. The three output channels are designed with a delayed turn-on function to reduce power supply ripple.
WS2811 LED Strip
WS2811 LED strips are the most commonly produced products. They can be easily used for vertical lighting, wall lighting, backlighting, festival (Christmas, etc.) lighting, stage design lighting, stair lighting, display cabinet lighting, ceiling lighting, and can also be used as automotive lights.
The following pictures are different types of WS2811 LED strips. Unlike the WS2812B IC built into the LED, the WS2811 IC is installed externally on the PCB. They are voltage-compatible and have various cutting units (which indicate how many LEDs the WS2811 IC controls at the same time).
5V WS2811 LED Strip: Each LED can be cut, and one WS2811 IC controls one LED.
12V WS2811 LED Strip: Three RGB lights can be cut, and one WS2811 IC controls three LED lights (meaning only the brightness and color of these three lights can be changed at the same time).
24V WS2811 LED Strip: Six RGB LED lights can be cut, and one WS2811 IC controls six lights.
WS2811 is an RGB LED strip that typically contains 30 to 60 LEDs per meter.
More WS2811 LED Strip types, please click here,
Both the WS2812B and WS2811 addressable LED strips are single-signal transmission with three connection wires: one positive, one negative, and one data signal, as seen in the photos above.
Although WS2811 is an RGB LED, it is not just a “simple RGB LED strip.” It uses WS2811 LED driving chips to control LED strips. These LED driver chips are typically provided and controlled with the LED to provide light intensity.
Once a unique address is assigned to each LED driver chip you own, you can easily control each LED unit. A microcontroller can be used to do this.
WS2812B can be said to be the next generation of WS2812, which not only retains all the advantages of WS2812 but also improves the IC from external mechanical layout to internal structure in all aspects. This makes stability and efficiency better.
The WS2812B is a smart external control LED light source that combines a control circuit with a luminous circuit. It has the same look as a 5050 LED bead, and each component represents a pixel.
WS2812 LED Strip
Built-in IC Bead: The traditional driver IC is integrated into the 5050 RGB LED bead, and all circuits are replaced with gold wires, which not only saves space and reduces the failure rate between solder joints but also shortens the transmission distance, making the transmission faster and more stable.
It is equipped with a circuit for reshaping and amplifying signals. In addition, it also has frequent control of up to 5 volts and an internal oscillator. In addition, a 12V high-voltage programmable constant current control section can be optionally equipped to ensure the high consistency of pixel light colors.
Therefore, it ensures the consistency of light color intensity. In addition, WS2812 has three pins, including a data line, a negative pole, and a positive pole. This LED strip has built-in intelligent control, which makes it capable of single-line interface communication. By using one of the controller pins, you can power many LEDs.
The input voltage of WS2812 is DC5v and can be used for full-color panels and LED decorative lighting. The up pictures are different types and densities of WS2812B LED strips.
More types WS2812, please click here,
We can see that each LED of the WS2812B strip can be cut, meaning that each LED can be controlled individually. And they only work at 5V.
WS2812 LED Strip vs WS2811 LED Strip: Pros and Cons
WS2811 LED Strip Advantages:
- Easy to control a large number of LEDs
- Usually runs on 12V, allowing for the control of multiple LEDs on a single strip and longer cable connections
- Control granularity level of 3 LEDs
- Can produce smoother dimming effects
WS2811 LED Strip Disadvantages:
- Each color is limited to eight bits of data, limiting the smoothness of the dimming curve
- Cannot control if there are fewer than 3 LEDs
- No data redundancy
- Consumes a significant amount of power/energy due to running on 12V
- More expensive
WS2812 LED Strip Advantages:
- Can control each LED unit individually
- Control granularity level of 1 LED
- Consumes less power
- Built-in IC provides higher brightness compared to regular LEDs
- Good consistency of RGB chips among all LEDs
- Built-in driver IC ensures stable performance
- Rigid rubber packaging provides good protection against damage from compression
- Quality assurance with affordable prices
WS2812 LED Strip Disadvantages:
- Adding LEDs to the strip can lead to significant voltage drop as it runs on 5V
Simplify and Quickly Understand the Difference: WS2811 VS WS2812
- WS2811 runs on 12V, while WS2812 runs on 5V
- WS2811 control granularity level of 3 LEDs, while WS2812 control granularity level of 1 LED
- WS2811 is more expensive, while WS2812 is more affordable
- WS2811 can control multiple LEDs on a single strip, while WS2812 can control each LED unit individually
- WS2811 can produce smoother dimming effects, while WS2812 has more precise dimming effects
WS2812 LED Strip vs WS2811 LED Strip Performance Comparison
WS2811 vs WS2812- Power Consumption
At a working voltage of DC5V, the power consumption of WS2812B LED and WS2811 LED is roughly the same. The 12V and 24V WS2811 LEDs use more watts than the 5V WS2812B LED.
The voltage of some LEDs at the edge of the LED strip may be lower. If the voltage drop is significant, the LEDs at the far end of the strip may not emit the expected light.
On the other hand, the working voltage of WS2812 LED strip is 5V. It may experience a voltage drop from 5V to 3V, which is significant based on various indicators.
For example, if there are 30 LEDs in the strip and the voltage drop near the end is 2V, the voltage of the last few LEDs will be around 10V if you use the WS2811 chip. This is still acceptable for LEDs designed to operate at 12V. However, if you use the WS2812B, which works at 5V, the voltage drop will be 3V rather than the reported 5V. The voltage drop there is significant.
When deciding between WS2811 and WS2812 LED strips, consider their power capabilities and select the most appropriate one. However, LED strips are energy-efficient regardless of which one you choose!
WS2811 vs WS2812 – LED Control Methods
WS2811 controls a combination of three LEDs at once, meaning that the granularity level is at three LEDs and cannot be lower than that. This is how they are controlled.
On the other hand, WS2812 can only control one LED at a time. If you need a control granularity level of one LED, then you should use WS2812B instead of WS2811.
WS2811 vs WS2812 – Integrated Circuit
At the moment of the integrated circuit (IC), WS2811 has an external circuitry. This means that the LED light strip needs a constant power supply to continue running. If it does not have this, the LED light strip will experience significant growth, leading to considerable changes in its operation.
The current grows exponentially until it reaches its maximum, and the LED may go out. The external circuit’s current source can be an independent device, i.e., an LED driver. Additionally, using a 100mA resistor at 3V voltage is suitable for low-power boards.
Similarly, the WS2812 comes with a built-in integrated circuit. You do not need to purchase an additional power supply because it already comes with one.
WS2811 vs WS2812 – Voltage
The higher the LED voltage, the more uniform the light strip color and the longer it can run.
The operating voltage of WS2811 is DC12v. It has a lower voltage, especially compared to other circuit voltages. Using it is much safer for those who want to try 12V LED light strips.
Unlike line voltage systems, the probability of noise or sparks occurring in the WS2811 system is low. Furthermore, WS2812 uses the DC5v series that requires low input voltage. It uses a single LED, which you can customize into any shape you want.
Therefore, the operating length of 12V/24V WS2811 LED light strips is farther than that of 5V WS2812B LED light strips, with a small voltage drop, requiring only five meters (16.4 feet) of power supply for the light strip at one end.
The 24V WS2811 LED light strip can achieve a length of up to 50m/164ft, without producing voltage drop that affects the lighting effect, suitable for outdoor architectural lighting or other large-scale LED projects.
WS2811 vs WS2812-Color
WS2812B LED only exists in RGB colors. However, WS2811 LED is different.
In addition to the addressable RGB chase colors, you can also find addressable white light (3000K warm white or 6000K daylight white), addressable RGB+W, and addressable RGB+CCT color modes, with more light colors for you to choose from.
ws2811 programmable white LED strip
WS2811 digital RGB + White LED strip
WS2811 programmable RGB+CCT LED strip
The RGB colors provided by WS2812 and WS2811 are very bright, but they also generate a lot of heat. Be aware that LED light strips may overheat if not used correctly.
WS2811 vs WS2812-Pin
Both LED light strips have positive and negative poles and a single data line pin. Of these three pins, the LED light strip uses the power and ground pins to receive power. The data pin helps communicate with the controller.
WS2811 vs WS2812-Addressable LED’s Versatility
WS2812B and WS2811 addressable LEDs are commonly used in SMD LED light strips, COB LED light strips, pixel rings, pixel panels, module light strings, pixel tubes, and other applications.
They use compatible SPI controllers or Arduino UNO control boards to control the effects of addressable LED lights.
Things to Consider When Purchasing WS2811 or WS2812 LED Light Strips
Making the right decision during the purchasing process is crucial. It can help you avoid wasting time, energy, and money. Here, I will explain how to identify suitable LED light strips.
Choose WS2811 for Higher Brightness
How bright do you want the LED light strip to be? Knowing the ideal answer to this question can change the game because it can give you the confidence to shop.
Although it is difficult to decide on LED light bulb brightness, you can try to consider some factors. Some of these are temperature, lumens, and color, which all determine the final output of the bulb. Therefore, you can consult lighting professionals to help you make a choice.
If you want higher brightness, I recommend purchasing WS2811.
Choose High-Quality Resistors
Most inferior, low-quality LED light strip resistors are relatively small to ensure good lighting effects. Remember, it will further tighten the LED chip, causing its lifespan to shorten.
Therefore, choosing high-quality LED light strip resistors will be better because they have a longer lifespan. Excellent lighting effects are also possible.
WS2811 is Suitable for Longer LED Light Strips
12V/24V WS2811 is ideal for users who want to use and control longer LED light strips because it has a higher operating voltage and can cover more distance without experiencing voltage drops that affect lighting effects. Therefore, if you plan to use longer LED light strips, consider purchasing WS2811 rather than WS2812B.
Consider the Required Color Modes
If you need more color options, consider WS2811 because it offers more color modes, including RGB chase colors, addressable white light, RGB+W, and RGB+CCT. However, if you only need RGB colors, WS2812B may be sufficient.
Consider the Integrated Circuit
WS2811 requires an external circuitry, while WS2812B comes with a built-in integrated circuit. Therefore, consider your power supply needs before making a purchase.
Both WS2811 and WS2812B are popular addressable LEDs used in various lighting projects. Consider the factors mentioned above, such as brightness, color modes, operating voltage, and integrated circuits, to make an informed decision before purchasing.