Want individually-controlled, color changing LED pixels that can be securely mounted in your application and have enough waterproofing to survive outdoors? The 40 strand RGB LED Stringxels are here to save the day!
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 Bullet 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 40-unit chains are wired together with beefy & flexible 20AWG ribbon cable, spaced 8cm (3-1/8") 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", as you are passing LED data 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.
Note: These are not the Adafruit 12mm Diffused Thin 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 longer strands of 40, not 25.
If you're looking for a flatter way to install them, or a shorter string, we also have the 20-pack Flat-type RGB LED Stringxels.
One strip draws ~1.8A at full brightness, so 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 40th stringxel!
Regarding power requirements: Yes, running RGB strips at full 100% on makes them white, and makes it draw maximum 1.8A. Our own experiments show that random RGB effects not using much white draws approximately 40~70% maximum draw. But it's always best to oversize your power supply by 20% than be under by 20%! And if you're looking for easy ways to connect the strings, check out the connectors!
Wiring (Different from Flat-type):
Check out this video of Stringxels controlled by SB-FireFly: