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WS2814 vs SK6812

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

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Choosing between LED pixel lights can be as challenging as picking a movie for family night. You’ve got to consider everyone’s preferences, right? In the world of LED lighting, it’s all about your project’s requirements. Today, we’re comparing two popular models: the WS2814 and the SK6812. Which one will light up your project? Let’s find out.

WS2814 vs SK6812 LED strip

WS2814 vs SK6812, What's the difference?

Here we made a comparison table to show the differences and similarities between WS2814 vs SK6812.

Table: WS2814 vs SK6812 LED Strip

ItemWS2814 LED StripSK6812 LED Strip
Differences
IC TypeWS2814 external ICSK6812 built-in IC
PIN Configuration12 pins4 pins
Working VoltageDC5-24VDC5V
Data WireDual-wire data transmissionSingle-wire data transmission
Break ContinueYesNo
Signal Transmission Distance5M10M
Voltage DropDC5V:High;
DC12V: Middle;
DC24V: Low
High
Individual ControlDC5V: Yes;
DC12V/24V: No
Yes
PriceHigher (++)Lower (+)
Similarities
Refresh Rate2KHz2KHz
Data Transmission Speed800Kbps800Kbps
Gray Level256256
LED Strip ColorRGBWRGBW

From the above table, we can learn that the refresh rate of WS2814 and SK6812 IC is the same 2KHz, and the data transmission speed is 800Kbps. They are both 256 grayscale, and both are in addressable RGBW color. Next, let’s compare WS2814 and SK6812 LED strips across several key factors to help you understand and differences.

IC Type

The WS2814 pixel LED strips use external ICs to drive the groups of LEDs, and SK6812 LED strips use integrated built-in ICs to drive each LED individually.

  • External IC vs Built-in IC

External IC: Integrated circuit mounted on PCB as an independent chip, connected via pins.

Advantages:
1. Flexible: Easy replacement and upgrade for maintenance and expansion.
2. Independent debugging: Can be debugged without impacting the entire circuit board.

Disadvantages:
Signal Interference: Susceptible to external interference due to longer pin connections.

Built-in IC: Integrated circuit embedded inside the LED, connected to the circuit board.

Advantages:
High reliability: Strong connection with the circuit board, resistant to external factors.

Disadvantages:

1. Difficult to repair: Replacement of the entire board may be necessary in case of failure.
2. Design restrictions: Design considerations during PCB manufacturing limit modification and upgrade flexibility.

PIN Configuration

12pins WS2814 vs 4pins SK6812 IC

PIN configuration refers to the arrangement or layout of pins on an electronic component, such as an integrated circuit (IC), connector, or other devices with physical pins.

The WS2814 IC is a 12 pins external IC, and the 12 pins are: data out (DOUT), output white color (OUT W), output blue color (OUT B), output green color (OUT G), output red color (OUT R), voltage direct drain (VDD), data input (DIN), ground (GND), 3pcs no connection (NC), and backup input (BIN).

The SK6812 IC is a 4 pins built-in IC, and the 4 pins are: voltage direct drain (VDD), data output (DOUT), data input (DIN), voltage supply source (VSS).

The main difference is that the WS2814 IC has separate output pins for each color channel, SK6812 IC combines the R, G, B, W color on a single pin. Moreover, the external 12-pin WS2814 IC is more stable than the built-in 4-pin SK6812 IC due to it has a backup data channel.

Working Voltage

The WS2814 addressable LED strips support 5V~24V, but SK6812 can only be DC5V. The wide voltage range makes the WS2814 LED strip suitable for more lighting and decoration scenarios. The DC5V limits the SK6812 pixel LED strip is more suitable for small LED lighting projects.

Data Wire and Break Continue

The WS2814 RGBW LED strips have two data wires, one is used for normal data transmission and the other is for backup. The backup data wire gives the break continue (breakpoint resume) function to WS2814 strip light. 

The SK6812 strip lights only have one single data wire and don’t have the break continue function.

  • What is Break Continue?

The break-continue means if one pixel on the strip is broken, the backup wire can still transmit the data to the next LED through the breakpoint. The video below takes WS2815 and SK6812 light strips as examples to show what the breakpoint resume is.

Signal Transmission Distance

The signal transmission distance means the maximum distance that can be connected between two pixels without affecting the signal stability.

The maximum pixel spacing distance of WS2814 pixel strip is 5m, and SK6812 supports 10m cable connection without signal weakness.

To avoid signal weakening in any connection situation, you can use the signal amplifier. Please check the following video to see what is signal amplifier and how it works:

Voltage Drop

Voltage drop is related to the voltage, the higher the voltage, the lower the voltage drop. The 5V WS2814 and SK6812 LED strips have the most serious voltage drop problem, and need to power again every 5 meters. For the 12V WS2814 light strip, limited by the voltage drop, it needs to be powered every 10m. For 24V strip light, it needs to be powered every 15m.

To know more about the voltage, please click: Everything about addressable LED strip

Individual Control

All the SK6812 RGBW LED strips and DC5V WS2814 LED strips support individual control due to the built-in IC design. DC12V and 24V light strips cannot be controlled one by one LED.

Price and Availability

Typically, LED strips with dual data wires, such as the DC24V WS2814 RGBW 60leds LED strip, tend to be more expensive compared to LED strips with single data wires, such as the DC5V SK6812 RGBW 60leds LED strip.

The SK6812 is generally more affordable and widely available than the WS2814, making it a popular choice for a range of projects.

Want to get the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information? Feel free to contact us.

Understanding LED Pixel Lights

LED pixel lights are individual LED modules, each a shining star capable of displaying a range of colors and brightness levels. They’re the rockstars behind the vibrant, dynamic light shows you see in concerts, architectural lighting, and, yes, those dazzling Christmas decorations.

Introduction to WS2814

WS2814 RGBW LED strip

  • Key Features and Specifications of WS2814
    The WS2814 is like that lead guitarist who’s all about power. Operating at DC5V~24V, it delivers brighter lights and longer runs, making it a fan favorite for big stage performances.
  • Common Uses and Applications of WS2814
    The WS2814 is commonly used in larger installations like outdoor signage, stage lighting, and anywhere you need a strong presence and a bright light.

Introduction to SK6812

5V SK6812 RGBW LED strip light

  • Key Features and Specifications of SK6812
    With its built-in data reshaping circuit, and support for DC5V power supply, it delivers a steady rhythm of reliable performance.
  • Common Uses and Applications of SK6812
    The SK6812 is often found in LED strips, wearable gadgets, decorative lighting, and other medium-scale applications where its versatility can truly shine.

Making Your Choice: WS2814 vs SK6812 LED Strip

So, should you go for the WS2814 or the SK6812? It depends if you need brighter lights and longer runs, the WS2814 could be your selection. But if you value versatility and consistent performance, the SK6812 may be your choice.

Conclusion

In the battle of the WS2814 vs SK6812 Pixel LED Strip, there’s no clear winner because it all depends on your specific requirements and project needs. Both options offer impressive performance and flexibility in creating captivating lighting effects. Consider factors such as color accuracy, compatibility, availability, and pricing when making your decision. By understanding the differences between WS2814 and SK6812, you can select the LED strip that best suits your project.

FAQs

Yes, the DC12V and 24V WS2814 strip lights typically provide brighter lights than the SK6812.

The SK6812 is generally more affordable and widely available than the WS2814.

In theory, yes, but it could be challenging due to their different operating voltages and data signal requirements. It might be best to stick to one type of strip for a single project.

Yes, both WS2814 and SK6812 LED strips can be cut to custom lengths at designated cut points. Usually, WS2814 LED strip can be cut for every 3 LEDs or 6 LEDs, SK6812 LED strip can be cut for every single LED.

More pixel LED lighting knowledge you may need:

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