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A guide to LED controllers: pixel

Time to read 4 min

Advice Centre > Accessories > Controllers > A guide to LED controllers: Pixel

Light-emitting diode (LED) technology has revolutionised the lighting industry thanks to its efficiency and affordability. Today, offices and homes around the world feature LED lighting to ensure rooms are well-lit and energy costs are kept as low as possible. LEDs are also great for lighting art exhibitions, event spaces, theatrical shows and music concerts.

LED lighting comes in a range of forms, including spotlights, strips and lamps. As well as reducing your carbon footprint and energy bill, LED lighting lasts for thousands of hours before it needs replacing—great news if you’re looking for reliable lighting solutions requiring little maintenance.

If you’re thinking of investing in LED lighting for a special project or event space, you may wish to purchase an accompanying LED controller. A pixel controller can be used to create a beautiful LED display and bespoke design that suits the specific requirements of your lighting project. In this guide, we explain what pixel LED controllers are and what to consider when choosing the right device for you. We conclude with some excellent pixel LED controllers available from WeLoveLEDs.

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What are pixel LED controllers and how do they work?

Pixel controllers are used for controlling compatible LED pixel strip and module lighting, allowing users to regulate the intensity of the pixels and create special effects. Many come with pre-programmed dynamic effects so that all you have to do is press a button to alter the pattern, colour, brightness or speed of your lights. With some devices such as the T1000-s Pixel Controller, you can create your own lighting patterns and arrangements by changing the speed of the playback then saving the settings for additional use.

With addressable LEDs which are linked together and can be controlled dynamically by managing individual lights, pixel controllers work by converting data from the sequencing program or computer into a protocol that the pixels can use.

Your controller therefore needs to be compatible with your LED pixel lights. You check the chip model of your lights and the datasheet provided with the controller you are considering buying to make sure they match. For example, an addressable RGB LED will be referred to as ‘WS2811’ and the controller will need a compatible data signal input/software mode in order to support and control the pixels.

Which pixel controller do I need?

There are many different types of LED controller on the market, including dimmers, flashers and DMX LED controllers. The type of pixel controller you need depends on factors such as the size of your display and how many pixels are included in your LED strip. The T1000-s Pixel Controller, for example, can control a maximum 2048 pixels from a single-port output.

You must also consider issues surrounding power supply. Small lighting installations are often suited to LED strips with a voltage of 5v. All of our pixel controllers are suitable for 5v, 12v and 24v LED strips, modules and fairground lights. The Micro Pixel YCP LED Controller, for example, fits between the LED driver and lights and has a 2.1mm DC socket for connecting to a plug-style power supply. This controller has a maximum remote distance of 15m in an open area.

It is also important to think about your requirements and expectations. Do you only need some simple patterns through pre-programmed settings, or do you want full control over your LEDs to achieve more detailed displays? Some controllers come with hundreds of pre-programmed effects, allowing users to create bespoke lighting displays at the click of a button. Controllers intended for external LED installations will need to be sufficiently protected from the weather.

Pixel LED controllers from WeLoveLEDs

T1000-S Digital Controller with SD Card

T1000-S Digital Controller with SD Card

This premium controller is a high-performance unit designed to create dynamic lighting effects with colour changing LEDs for small and large events alike. You can draw your own LED patterns and arrangements, preview these effects and then upload them to the provided 256M memory card, which plugs right into the controller and displays your pattern. This device is compatible with our 5v, 12v and 24v LED modules and strips.

Click here to go to the T1000-S Digital Controller with SD Card product page

Micro Pixel Controller

Micro Pixel Controller

This ultra-slim controller can be used to create striking dynamic displays for all sorts of spaces. It features 300 different programs and 20 static standard colour options, making this slimline controller the ideal option for those new to the world of lighting design. It also features a convenient remote control, allowing users to adjust the brightness, colour and pattern of displays quickly and easily. It works with any of our 5v, 12v and 24v pixel strips and fairground lights.

Click here to go to the Micro Pixel Controller product page

Micro Pixel YCP Controller

Micro Pixel YCP Controller

This compact, easy to operate controller offers a range of dynamic effects including buttons for yellow, cyan and pink colour options. Like the Micro Pixel Controller, it also has 300 programs and 20 static colour options to choose from, and is capable of controlling up to 2048 pixels. This device is perfect for small-to-medium-sized installations, projects, and events.

Click here to go to the Micro Pixel YCP Controller product page

Frequently asked questions

What kind of LEDs can I use with pixel LED controllers?

Our pixel LED controllers can be used with any LED product featuring programmable pixels, such as our gorgeous Pixel 60 LED Strip and Pixel 60 RIGID LED Strip. Both are ideal for dynamic decorative applications, featuring a range of programmable colours. If LED strips aren’t what you need, you can program individual pixel cabochons to create bespoke effects.