Pixel Protocol Overview: APA109

This pixel protocol was designed by APA Electronic Co. in Taiwan. Also known as “Superled”, APA109 is the RGBW version of APA104 and is one of the most common protocols for pixel lighting displays. The control circuit and LEDs are integrated in a 5050 SMD package, which provides a small physical footprint for each pixel.

PixLite Support

Are you looking for APA109 pixel drivers that work with Art-Net or sACN? All PixLite Mk2 and Mk3 products support APA109 as an available Pixel IC type, so get in touch with us to find out how the lighting specialists at Advatek can support you in your pixel lighting project.

Technical Specifications

Clock Type Data-Only
Color Resolution 8 bits
Physical Package SMD5050 with integrated LEDs
RGB See APA104
Output Pixel Voltage 5V
PWM Rate 1200Hz
Suitable Camera Up to 40fps, see Refresh Rate and PWM Rate
Data Transfer Rate 800kbps
Redundant Data Line No

Color Specifications

Color Brightness Wavelength
Red 700 – 1000 mcd 620 – 630 nm
Green 1500 – 2200 mcd 515 – 530 nm
Blue 200 – 400 mcd 460 – 475 nm
White 3300 – 5000 mcd 2700 – 7000 K

APA109 Advantages

  • High PWM rate allows for filming these pixels with cameras up to 40fps
  • Presence of white LED allows for higher brightness and more color mixing options

APA109 Disadvantages

  • Data-only restricts refresh rates to be limited by the speed of the protocol, which will generally be slow
  • Only 8 bits of data for each color makes dimming curves less smooth
  • Limited to 5V, causing short cable lengths
  • No redundancy in data
Categories: Pixel LEDs