5 X 5mm RGB LEDs off WS2811?


Full time elf
Aug 1, 2014
Hi all - Feeling all inspired by the mini, I've been thinking about how I might be able to modify my existing minitree top stars to make them 'smart'.

I currently have 5 X 5mm rgb LEDs in parallel running off 5v with some 1W resistors to drop the current.

What I intend to do is replace the 5v (dumb) 3W RGB leds in the base of the tree with 12v WS2811 6 X 5050 led items so I was hoping to replace the stars with something else that will go in the 'string' and still run off 12v too.

So, ideally I don't want to have to rewire all of the stars and would like to just add a smart pixel PCB to the current parallel setup, at worst, put a pixel board on to each LED but still run at 12v.

Anyone got any suggestions on how I can do this easily?


Really old (now a Grandpa)
Community project designer
Generous elf
Jun 12, 2010
Victoria Point (Brisbane)
A couple of years ago I made some little boards that had a 2801 pixel chip and 3 DC outputs. The idea was that you could put it inline with your pixels and have it drive some dumb RGB channels.

Alan (AAH) now makes 15 and 30 channel versions to suit 2811 pixel strings. I'm not sure if anyone else is making a small 3 channel one these days. Maybe check Ray Wu's store ?