RGB Pixel IC Types and compatibility

This page will be expanded over time as new IC types become popular in Christmas lighting.


Always check the labels on your RGB pixels. V+/GND may be reversed, i.e. GND top and V+ bottom.
Connecting V+ from your power source incorrectly to your lights will likely damage them.


WS281x

WS281x is 8-bit without a dedicated clock line. There are four common WS281x variants. The first two are:
WS2811 (separate IC), WS2812 (IC integrated in 5050 LED).
Typical Pixel Pinout
V+
DATA
GND
Manufacturing changes may result in a different pinout order.
Check PCB markings before applying power.

A further two variants add an additional wire for data backup:
WS2818 (separate IC with data backup) and WS2813 (IC integrated in 5050 LED with data backup).
Typical Pixel Pinout
V+
BACKUP
DATA
GND
Manufacturing changes may result in a different pinout order.
Check PCB markings before applying power.

WS281x works with...
WS281x
INK1003
UCS1903
GS820x

INK1003

INK1003 is 8-bit and similar to WS281x (specifically WS2812). The 12V version typically will contain a built-in DC-DC 5V regulator every 50cm or 100cm, which means each 5050 RGB can be individually controlled even with a 12V power feed.
Typical Pixel Pinout
V+ (12v)
V+ (5v)
DATA
GND
Manufacturing changes may result in a different pinout order.
Check PCB markings before applying power.

INK1003 works with...
WS281x
INK1003
UCS1903
GS820x

Caution! A 5V only version also exists without any DC-DC converters. Be sure to specify that you want the 12V version to your supplier if that is what you want.

GS820x

GS820x is 8-bit without a dedicated clock line. An additional fourth wire is used as a backup data source. It has an effective colour depth of 12-bit through gamma correction and has an automatic test mode. There are two variants:
GS8206 (separate IC with data backup), GS8208 (IC integrated in 5050 LED with data backup).

While this IC is compatible with WS281x configured controllers, mixing GS820x/WS281x pixels off the same output may cause issues in certain environments. J1SYS controllers should have their outputs configured with speeds around 3200-3600.


Typical Pixel Pinout
V+
BACKUP
DATA
GND
Manufacturing changes may result in a different pinout order.
Check PCB markings before applying power.


GS820x works with...
WS281x
INK1003
UCS1903
GS820x

WS2801

WS2801 is four wires, with clock. 8-bit.

WS2801 works with...
WS2801

LPD6803

LPD6803 is four wires, with clock. 5-bit.

LPD6803 works with...
LPD6803
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