RGB Lighting Products

DC or Digital Solution?

DC LED modules require a "DC Controller". The controller has one output per colour for every section you want to control independently. So, a 27 channel DC controller could control 9 RGB elements with full control over each.

Digital LED modules on the other hand each contain extra electronics and require the use of an "Digital Controller". These modules just have one set of connections (power & data) and each section can be controlled individually, even though they all share the same wiring.

Digital LED modules are more expensive than DC types due to the extra electronics in them. If you want to control each element separately, then digital is the way to go. If you just want to colour change a whole collection of elements together, DC will do and is cheaper to implement.



Standard strip requires a DC controller to process the computer signals to light effects and is often called:
  • RGB
  • 3-channel RGB
  • Legacy RGB
  • Dumb RGB (Sometimes mistyped as "Dump" on AliExpress and Alibaba product listings)
  • Simple RGB
  • 9-channel RGB
  • Chasing RGB (3x RGB controllable segments 123123123)
Over a five metre distance expect to use between 3 and 9 channels in an unbroken standard RGB strip.

Tip! For static non-controllable operation of standard strip, the a DC controller is optional. You'll still need an appropriate power supply). For instance, for a permanent red glow, connect the V+ to the V+ on the PSU, R to the V- of the PSU and leave G and B disconnected.


Digital strip may require a digital converter controller but ultimately processes the computer signals (in a specific format) into light effects inside the strip and is often called:
  • Intelligent RGB
  • Addressable RGB
  • Digital RGB
  • IC Strip
  • Intelligent Strip
  • Smart Strip
  • Pixel strip

Over a five metre distance expect to use between 150 and 450 channels in an unbroken digital RGB strip.

Any of the above names are perfectly fine!

RGB Product Examples

Product links below this point are mostly outdated.

DC LED modules

DC LED modules from Ray Wu's store

The following are for use with a DC controller.

David Moore has a write up about some of the above modules: 1

Digital LED modules

Digital LED modules from Ray Wu's store

The following are for use with an digital controller.

David Moore has a write up about some of the above modules: 2

DMX DC drivers

More up to date information is available at the page DC Controllers and in the AusChristmasLighting 101 manual.

DMX and E1.31 digital drivers

More up to date information is available at the page Pixel Controllers and in the AusChristmasLighting 101 manual.

Extra Reading

Categories: RGB pages

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