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SK6812 Everything You Need to Know

Suntech Lite is a top manufacturer and supplier that focuses on pixel LED strips and LED neon lights.

Introduction

SK6812 is a set of smart control circuits and a light-emitting circuit in one of the controlled LED sources. SK6812 is an improved version of WS2812B. It can replace WS2812B in most cases. SK6812 is widely used in LED full-color modules, LED strip lights, LED pixel screens, and a variety of electronic products, electrical equipment etc.

Table of Contents

SK6812 3535 and SK6812 5050

Sk6812 mini 3535 vs SK6812 5050

Figure 1. SK6812 Mini and SK6812

The SK6812 LED chip looks just like the 5050 LED chips, and each one is like a little pixel. It’s got a bunch of cool stuff packed into it, like a digital interface, a power supply circuit, and a super-precise clock.

The way that SK6812 works is with something called PWM technology, which basically means that it can control the brightness and color of each pixel really well. This makes sure that everything looks consistent and awesome.

There’s also a smaller version of SK6812 called SK6812mini that’s only 3.5×3.5mm² in size. As shown in Figure 1 above. It’s perfect for making LED displays that are really dense and packed with pixels.

For more parameters, please see the technical specifications of SK6812.

SK6812 Technical Data Sheet

SK6812 Mini Technical Data Sheet

SK6812 RGB and SK6812 RGBW

From Figure 2, you can clearly see the difference between SK6812 RGB and SK6812 RGBW.

SK6812 RGB

SK6812 is a versatile LED strip that comes in four different types of RGB LEDs: IC built-in 4020 LED, 2020 LED, 3535 LED, and 5050 LED. These variations allow for the creation of addressable RGB LED strips in different sizes, shapes, and colors.

The 4020 SK6812 RGB is a side-emitting light strip that provides a unique lighting effect.

The 2020 SK6812 LED is ideal for making ultra-narrow LED strips, perfect for tight spaces or custom installations.

The 5050 SK6812 RGB LED is an exact replica of the popular 5050 WS2812B RGB LED, ensuring compatibility with existing WS2812B LED strips.

The 3535 SK6812, also known as “SK6812 mini,” is a smaller version of the SK6812 LED that measures 3.5×3.5mm². This size reduction allows for denser matrix displays and more intricate lighting designs.

sk6812 rgb vs sk6812 rgbw led strip2

Figure 2. SK6812 RGB LED Strip vs SK6812 RGBW LED Strip

SK6812 RGBW

The white channel of the SK6812 RGBW features three distinct color temperatures, which are blended with RGB colors to provide diverse lighting effects.

RGBWW=RGB+3000K warm white
RGBNW=RGB+4000K natural white
RGBCW=RGB+6000K cool white

How to use SK6812

SK6812 Wiring Diagram

SK6812 is widely used in LED strip lights. DC5V SK6812 LED strip usually has three wires as shown in Figure 3. Red wire: DC5V(+). Green wire: Data. White: GND(-).

SK6812 RGBW LED strip light

Figure 3. 5V SK6812 LED strip

The SK6812 RGBW LED strip connected to the K-1000C controller is shown in the diagram in Figure 4.

sk6812 5v rgbw led strip wiring diagram

Figure 4.  SK6812 LED strip wiring diagram

SK6812 Connection Instructions

Now are you wondering how to connect SK6812 led strip to the K-1000C LED controller? Please watch video 1 to teach you how to connect step by step. For detailed steps, please refer to the article Control, Connect and Wire SK6812 LED Strip.

Video 1. How to connect SK6812 LED strip to K-1000C LED controller

SK6812 Comparison to WS2812B

Differences:

The SK6812 LED strip can almost entirely replace the WS2812B LED strip in most cases. The SK6812 and WS2812B vary primarily in two ways.

  • The color spectrum of the SK6812 is larger, encompassing RGB, RGBW, WWA, and single white. However, the WS2812B is normally solely RGB.
  • Compared with WS2812B, SK6812 has a small voltage drop.
WS2812B VS SK6812 LED chip

Figure 5. SK6812 IC and WS2812 IC

Similarities: 

  • 3535/5050 SMD LED size
  • Individually addressable
  • Single signal transmission
  • No break continues function
  • 3 output channel
  • Positive + Negative + Data line wires

Video 2 shows the different lighting effects of SK6812 and WS2812 LED strips. For more information about the differences between SK6812 and WS2812, please click the article SK6812 vs WS2812B.

Video 2. Lighting display effect: SK6812 LED strip vs WS2812 LED strip

SK6812 Comparison to APA102

Differences:

SK6812 LED strip is more widely used than APA102 because it is cheaper. The main differences between the two are reflected in the following points as shown in Figure 6:

  • APA102 has 2 wire SPI (DAT, CLK), while SK6812 only has 1 wire control.
  • SK6812 LED type is RGB/RGBW/WWA/Signal White, while APA102 is usually RGB.
  • SK6812 has a restricted data rate of 800Hz, while APA102 has no strict timing necessary.

SK6812 LED Strip

SK6812 LED strip signal transmission

APA102 LED Strip

APA102 LED strip

Figure 6. SK6812 LED Strip and APA102 LED Strip

SK6812 VS APA102: Pros & Cons

Table 1 helps you rapidly comprehend the difference between APA102 and SK6812.

IC APA102 SK6812
Voltage DC5V DC5V
Control 2 Wire SPI (DAT, CLK) 1 Wire Control
LED Type RGB RGB/RGBW/WWA/Signal White
Price More expensive (-) Cheaper (+)
Control Require 2 pins for control (-) 1 pin is enough (+)
Timing No strict timing necessary (+) Restricted scan rate of 1200Hz (-)
Interrupt compatibility Yes (+) No (-)

Table 1. SK6812 and APA102 Comparison

SK6812 VS APA102: Which to choose?

1. I just want a simple LED strip and don’t mind a slow refresh rate, SK6812 or APA102, which one to choose?

Answer: SK6812 is the one to choose.

2. I only need a pure white light LED, SK6812 or APA102, which one to choose?

Answer: Please select the RGBW variant of the SK6812 LED strip.

3. I need a high refresh rate LED strip, SK6812 or APA102, which one to choose?

Answer: Although a bit more expensive, the APA102 would be ideal.

SK6812 Comparison to WS2815

Differences:

WS2815 and SK6812 stand out as popular addressable and programmable LED strips. Figure 7 simply shows the difference between SK6812 and WS2815.

  • WS2815 is a 6-pin IC, while SK6812 is a 4-pin IC.
  • SK6812 LED type is RGB/RGBW/WWA/Single White, while WS2815 is usually RGB and single white.
  • WS2815 has 4 wires: Positive + Negative + Data line + Backup data line, while SK6812 only 3 wires: Positive + Negative + Data line.
  • WS2815 has a break continue function, while SK6812 does not yet.
ws2815 led vs sk6812 led

Figure 7. SK6812 LED vs APA102 LED 

Video 3 shows the different lighting effects of SK6812 and WS2815 LED strips. For more information about the differences between SK6812 and WS2815, please click the article WS2815 vs SK6812.

Video 3. Lighting display effect: SK6812 LED strip vs WS2815 LED strip

Troubleshooting common issues with SK6812

1. Is SK6812 better than WS2812B?

Answer: SK6812 is from Dongguan OPSCO Optoelectronics Co.,LTD. WS2812B is from Worldsemi, functions are same. You can choose either of them

2. What is the difference between SK6812 and WS2815?

Answer: The SK6812 LED strip has a wider color range than the WS2815. It can output more colors than the WS2815, allowing for better color mixing and greater versatility for designing unique color schemes.

3. How much current does SK6812 draw?

Answer: When set to full brightness, each RGB LED consumes around 40 mA of electricity. This means that the SK6812 LED strip may draw up to 1.2 A for every 30 LEDs activated.

4. Is SK6812 addressable?

Answer: Yes, it is addressable.

5. What voltage for SK6812 rgbw?

Answer: The optional voltages are SK6812 5V, SK6812 12V, SK6812 24V and so on. We can customize it according to your needs.

6. What is the width of the SK6812 LED strip?

Answer: The optional SK6812 LED strip width is 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm etc.

7. What are the sizes of SK6812?

Answer: SK6812 RGB 5050 (5mm x 5mm) or MINI 3535 (3.5mm x 3.5mm) is the most widely used size. Besides, there are SK6812 2020 (used to make ultra-narrow LED strips) and SK6812 4040 (used to make ultra-narrow LED strips).

8. Is SK6812 RGB or RGBW?

Answer: SK6812 can be either RGB or RGBW.

Final Suggestion

SK6812 is suitable for selection in various scenarios. The actual color and brightness of the SK6812 is largely independent of its supply voltage as long as the voltage is between 3.5 V and 5 V. Be sure to choose a power supply that can meet the current requirements of the light strip.

Suntech Lite is one of the leading and most professional addressable SK6812 light strip manufacturers in China. Welcome Inquiry.

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