These are strands of smart RGB LEDs pixels, that have been used to create huge outdoor signs & displays. Instead of having a chain of thousands we've got some in smaller 20 piece strands for your projects and applications!
Note: These are not the Adafruit 12mm Diffused Flat Digital RGB LED Pixels (Strand of 25), although they look and behave the same (they use the same WS2801 chipset). The wiring color standard is different, and these are shorter strands of 20, not 25.
RGB LEDs are undoubtedly cool, especially when you can chain them together for neat effects. But if you have more than just a few to chain, it gets cumbersome. That's where the Stringxels (strings of pixels) come in to make it easy.
Each unit of the stringxel features a silicon-overmolded water-resistant 8mm diffused RGB LED that looks fabulous. These 20-unit chains are wired together with beefy & flexible 20AWG ribbon cable, spaced 11cm (4-3/8") apart, but unlike standard holiday LED light strings, you get to program their behavior!
Each stringxel unit features the well-documented WS2801 RGB controller IC, so you simply power up the string with 5V, and use common data-shifting techniques to clock in your data to each Stringxel. This isn't quite the same as addressable LEDs, where each LED has a set permanent address; stringxel data is clocked "down the chain", one stringxel at a time. When clocking is done, all the units latch, and light up the RGB data passed to them. It's all documented in the Arduino sample code available under the Resources tab.
The same factory that manufactures these square-base units also makes a Bullet-type RGB LED Stringxels for more compact designs benefiting from a skinnier/tube-like form factor.
One strip draws ~1.0A at full brightness, so you are welcome to use the 5V 1A power adapter with it. If you are connecting more than one, we recommend a hardcore power supply that can handle quite a few amps (20A to be precise!). Or you could use a capable LiPo battery and add a buff 5V regulator with it to get this string off the grid. Yes, 5V doesn't usually carry very far down a wire, but that's the reason for the beefy 20AWG stranded wire. We cannot visually detect a difference from the first to the last stringxel!
If you need to patch strings together, we've got 3-conductor cables ideal for this. Keep in mind, these do not have the 5V line wired into the connector, as it's expected you would be further feeding a better 5V source "down the chain" to keep the brightness up.
Wiring (Different from Bullet-type):