New! We’re upgraded these strips from the old HL1606 chipset to the latest and greatest, the LPD8806 – a chip that has hi-speed full-color PWM built in!
We used to carry the HL1606 chipset LED strip – this is the most common strip you’ll find being made. The good news about the HL1606 is that it is low cost and well understood. The bad news is that the HL1606 doesn’t have PWM which means you can only set the LEDs on or off. If you want any more colors than that you have to write to the strip by hand to PWM it – a big pain and requires a lot of CPU and doesn’t look as good as it ought to! We wanted to upgrade the strip so we had the factory make us an upgraded version using the LPD8806. This chip has built in 1.2 MHz high speed 7-bit PWM for each channel – that means it can do 21-bit color per LED (way more than the eye can easily discern). Once you set the brightness level for the LEDs, your microcontroller can go off and do other things, no need to continuously update it, or clock it. The best part is that compared to the WS2801 which can only run one LED at a time, this chip can drive 2 RGB LEDs which means the price stays the same as the older HL1606 strip, nice!