Complete Guide of Addressable and RGB LED Strips

What is an Addressable LED Strip?

An addressable LED strip refers to a digital strip that features RGB LEDs with a driver chip embedded on the strip for controlling each of the LED lights individually. This means that each of the LEDs will have its own independence and intelligence. To put it simply, each light can have its own unique color and brightness. As a result, you can create beautiful and even complex effects.

Individually addressable LED strips are available in 5V and 12V variants, with the 5V variants giving you the option to power your NodeMCU without using a voltage regulator on the same power source. Meanwhile, the 12V variants are less prone to voltage drops, hence allowing them to travel farther before the lights get dimmer.

What is the Difference Between RGB and Addressable RGB?

In a typical RGB, all of the LED lights rely on the input signal in order to act all at the same time. Moreover, all of the LEDs that belong to a primary color (red, green, and blue) are chained together. 

On the other hand, each LED on an addressable RGB can display a different intensity and color than the rest of the lights. For example, one LED can be more intense and redder while others are displaying entirely different colors and/or intensity.

Difference Between 3528 SMD LED, 5050 SMD LED, and 5630 SMD LED?

All three are named due to the dimension of their LED chips. The 3528 SMD LED measures 3.5 x 2.8 mm, the 5050 SMD measures 5.0 x 5.0 mm, and the 5630 SMD measures 5.6 x 3.0 mm. However, apart from the dimensions, all three differ in light output as well.

A 3528 SMD LED features a single LED per light source and displays only one color. Meanwhile, a 5050 SMD LED features three chips and has 3x more light output. Lastly, the 5630 SMD LED gives 2x more output than a 5050 SMD LED but with an elongated design.

Best Addressable LED Strip Lights:

1.BTF Lighting (5050 SMD)

This IP 65 Addressable LED Strip comes with long life and durability. This is Water and Dustproof, comes with 50000 hours of life and Programable.

Program the LEDs, Every 3 LEDs are the same color
Use DC12V power input
IP 65 – Weatherproof rating (Rating Chart)
Length of the Strip is 16.4 Ft and 300 LEDs

Best RGB LED Strip Lights (Not Addressable):

1. MINGER DreamColor

The DreamColor lights from MINGER is an ideal option if you want a LED strip light that features a unique design to let you adjust the speed, brightness, and colors of its lights periodically. It also features a sensitive built-in mic that can automatically adjust to the ambient sound in your surroundings.

Apart from that, you can easily control the lights using a smartphone app known as Govee Home. From there, you can access a lot of other features and functionalities for added ease of use.

Can light up according to the music
Changes the lights periodically
Very low heat emission
Can be controlled using a smartphone app


Some parts of the strip have a fairly weak adhesive

2. GE 10434 LED Strip Lights

If you need warm and comfortable lighting for your cabinet, then the GE 10434 LED strip lights are for you. As opposed to most LED strip lights on the market, this one is rigid, making it quite a convenient option since you don’t have to do any cutting or measuring at all.

Aside from that, it also comes with a 12-inch power cord alongside an on/off switch. Additionally, the lights are cool to the touch, not to mention they’re quite energy-efficient as well.


Can be turned on and off with ease
Quite affordable
Includes a long power cord


Customization can be limited due to its rigid construction

3. Philips Hue LightStrip Plus

If you want a cool and fun way to illuminate any space you want, then the LightStrip Plus from Philips Hue is perfect for you. One of the features that make it stand out is that it can be controlled via voice control through either Alexa or Google Assistant.

Through its voice control, you can adjust the brightness and color of the lights anytime you want. However, you need to have Alexa or Google Assistant devices, otherwise, it won’t work.


Controllable via voice control
Quite easy to install
Offers bright light even during the daytime


A bit expensive than the rest

4. Nexillumi Backlight

If you plan to set up a home theater in your indoor space, then the Nexillumi LED backlights would make a perfect choice. First off, it’s designed for TVs measuring 24-60 inches. Additionally, it has a sync-to-music feature to let you enjoy an immersive home theater experience.

If you plan to use it outdoors, then you can rest easy knowing that it’s made with an IP65 waterproofing material.


Perfect for home theater use
Waterproof construction
Can be connected to your smartphone


Doesn’t come with an IR remote

5. DAYBETTER LED Strip Lights

Last on the list is this LED strip light from DAYBETTER. What makes it a great choice is that it can emit up to 20 different colors for a lot of purposes, not to mention it can do great on both indoor and outdoor settings due to its IP65 waterproofing construction.

Aside from that, the strips are quite flexible and can be cut and connected for various applications. It also comes with a 44-key remote for added ease of use and convenience.


Quick and easy installation
Waterproof construction
Flexible and cuttable
Reasonably priced


Doesn’t come with a smartphone app

Common LED Strip Lights questions:

Are LED Strip Lights Safe?

Generally, LED strip lights are quite safe as long as they’re installed properly. However, since they’re just like any other electrical light source, proper installation and handling are necessary. In which case, you might have to call for help from a professional electrician to install them properly.

What to Do With Your Strip Lights?

There are a lot of cool and amazing things you can do with your strip lights. One of the most common applications is wall lighting where you can add LED strip lights to your walls for added illumination or for decorative purposes.

Bedroom Upgrade Project

They’re also widely used for commercial shelf lighting purposes to display various items in a more attractive manner. Additionally, they’re widely used in photography in order to achieve excellent lighting considering that they’re lightweight, efficient, and quite versatile.

As a matter of fact, the list of applications for LED strip lights can be endless. It just depends on your preferences and how creative you can get when using them.

Are LED Strip Lights Waterproof?

Not all LED strip lights are designed to be waterproof. Therefore, if you want to purchase a waterproof light, make sure you look for those with an IP65 rating. Keep in mind, however, that they can be a bit more expensive than regular LED strip lights.

Are LED Strip Lights Easy to Remove From the Wall?

This would depend on the adhesive used to stick your LED strip lights to your wall. While some can be removed with ease, others will require the use of alcohol-based sanitizers or perhaps a citrus-based cleaner to remove them without damaging the paint on your wall.

LED Lights Installation Instructions

How Much Power Do LED Strip Lights Use?

LED strip lights don’t consume that much energy. On average, a high-density LED strip light will only consume 2.9 watts per foot which is less than 1/3 of the average power consumption of a typical incandescent bulb. Also, most LED strip lights come in 12V versions, but there are also those with higher voltages but still uses very little electricity.

Are LED Strip Lights Bad for Your Eyes?

High-intensity LED strip lights can be damaging to your eyes if you stare at them for long enough. However, a standard LED strip light only uses very little power, so it’s generally not harmful. As of now, there’s no conclusive evidence pointing out that the light emitted by LED strip lights can damage your eyes.

How Long Can You Leave a LED Strip Light Running?

On average, a LED strip light can last for up to 50,000 hours. Moreover, due to their very low heat output and power usage, you can safely leave them running overnight. If you want your LED strip lights to last for a long time, the ideal runtime would be around 12 hours every day.

Sujatha Naidu

Passionate blogger and Technology enthusiast. I love DIY home projects, here I am sharing my experience.

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