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How does the WS2812B LED light work?

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In this article, we will learn how to use the Arduino development board to control individually addressable RGB LED lights or LED strips based on WS2812B.

Let us first take a closer look at the LED strips. It is composed of SMD5050 RGB LED lights, which integrates a very compact WS2812B LED driver IC.


According to the intensities of the red, green and blue LEDs, we can simulate any color we want.

The advantage of using WS2815 Addressable RGB LED lights is that we only need to use one pin on the Arduino development board to control the entire LED strip. Each LED has three connector interfaces at each end, two for power supply and one for data. The arrows indicate the direction of data flow. The data output pad of the previous LED is connected to the data input pad of the next LED. We can cut the light strip to any size we want, and we can also use wires to increase the distance of the LED lights.


As for power supply, when they work at 5V, each red, green and blue LED needs about 20mA, or a total of 60mA per LED at full brightness. Please note that when the Arduino is powered by USB, the 5V pin can only handle about 400mA of current, and when the barrel power connector is used for power supply, the 5V pin can handle about 900mA of current. Therefore, if you use more LEDs and the amount of current they pass through exceeds the above limit, you have to use a individual 5V power supply. In this case, you also need to connect the two ground wires to each other. In addition, it is recommended to use a resistance of about 330Ω between the Arduino and the data pins of the LED light bar to reduce noise on the line, and a capacitance of about 100μF on the 5V and ground lines to smooth the power supply.