Pixel Protocol Overview: WS2812b

This pixel protocol was designed by World Semi in China. WS2812b offers many of the benefits the WS28xx series is famous for. Typically, users will choose WS2813 or above for higher quality, however WS2812b is still one of the most common protocols for pixel lighting displays. While very similar to its previous version, WS2812, WS2812b offers reverse polarity protection on its power input, and also uses a 4-legged 5050 package, rather than 6. 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 WS2812b pixel drivers that work with Art-Net or sACN? All PixLite Mk2 and Mk3 products support WS2812b 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.

Check out Advatek's WS2812b DCDC Series of LED Fixtures here

Technical Specifications

Clock Type Data-Only
Color Resolution 8 bits
Physical Package SMD5050 with integrated LEDs
RGB Yes
RGBW See WS2814
Output Pixel Voltage 5 – 12V
PWM Rate 400Hz
Suitable Camera Unsuitable for cameras, see Refresh Rate and PWM Rate
Data Transfer Rate 800kbps
Redundant Data Line No

Color Specifications

Color Brightness Wavelength
Red 390 – 420 mcd 620 – 625 nm
Green 660 – 720 mcd 522 – 525 nm
Blue 180 – 200 mcd 465 – 467 nm

WS2812b Advantages

  • Up to 12V, allowing for long cable lengths
  • Reverse polarity protection, making it more reliable than WS2812
  • Only 4 legs, reducing chance of accidental shorts and making it more flexible than WS2812

WS2812b Disadvantages

  • Data-only restricts refresh rates to be limited by the speed of the protocol, which will generally be slow
  • Low PWM rate makes theses pixels unsuitable for cameras
  • Only 8 bits of data for each color makes dimming curves less smooth
  • No redundancy in data
Categories: Pixel LEDs