NEW PRODUCT – DotStar RGB LED Disk – 240mm diameter
Bullseye! This disk is chock full of *255* Dotstar LEDs and it’s BRIGHT! The Dotstar RGB LED Disk is sprinkled with digitally-addressable LEDs, comes on a white PCB with two 4 pin JST-SM connectors already soldered to it so it’s ready to rock straight out of the box.
These are the same integrated LEDs that are used in our new fancy DotStar strips. This tiny 5050 (5mm x 5mm) SMD LED is the most compact way possible to integrate multiple bright LEDs to a design. Rather than NeoPixels, this disk uses DotStar LEDs, which use a 2-wire protocol that is less timing-specific and has high-frequency PWM for smoother color blending.
Like NeoPixels, DotStar LEDs are 5050-sized LEDs with an embedded microcontroller inside the LED. You can set the color/brightness of each LED to 24-bit color (8 bits each red green and blue). Each LED acts like a shift register, reading incoming color data on the input pins, and then shifting the previous color data out on the output pin. By sending a long string of data, you can control an infinite number of LEDs. The PWM is built into each LED-chip so once you set the color you can stop talking to the disk and it will continue to PWM all the LEDs for you
Another nice thing about DotStars is their high PWM rate. You only have to set the 24-bit color data for each pixel LED once, and then the LED+built-in-chip will handle the PWMing of the red, green and blue. On NeoPixels, this PWM rate happens 400 Hz, which works well but is noticably at lower brightnesses and if the strip is moving in any way. DotStars have a 20 KHz PWM rate, so even when moving the disk around, you won’t see the pixelation, the color blending is very smooth.