WS2812 Breakout Hookup Guide

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Contributors: Jimb0
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Addressable LED Strips

If you need an abundance of WS2812 LEDs in a slick, pre-assembled form factor these addressable LED strips might be for you.

LED strip overview

The LED strips come on a reel as shown above.

The WS2812 Addressable LED strips come in four product options, which vary by size and sealant. You can get them in either 1m or 5m lengths, and for each length the strip can be either covered by a waterproof sealant or left bare.

The waterproofed strips are rated IP65 – dust tight and protected from water jets.

Zoom in on LED strip

Each strip has 60 LEDs per meter, which are spaced about 1.65cm away from each other.

Connecting to the Strips

Each end of the LED strip is terminated with a set of three colored wires: red, yellow, and green. Two wires are for power, and the third transmits data either into our out of the strip:

Wire ColorFunctionNotes
RedVccWS2812 power supply. Should be a regulated supply between 5V and 7V.
YellowGNDGround. 0V.
GreenData In/OutSerial data in or out. Look at arrows and labels on strip to check which it is.

LED strip connectors

Each of the wire pigtails are terminated by a three-pin JST SM connector, which you can use to connect string strips together. For the first strip in a string, you can either connect to a mating connector, or cut and strip the wires, and connect them to your controlling device.