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RGB & RGBW Color Changing LED Strips

RGB Color Changing LED Strip Lights

Our color changing LED strip lights include RGB, RGBW (aka RGB + White), RGBCCT (aka RGB + Tunable White) and addressable light strips. 5050 RGBW and RGBCCT LED strips have the advantage of delivering pure white light, and we carry super bright version that are suitable for many more residential and commercial applications. They are the highest quality on the market. 5-Year Warranty. UL Listed.

Color changing LED strip lights are often installed together with LED strip channel for better diffusion and thermal management.

5-in-1 RGB + CCT Tunable White

5-in-1 RGB + CCT Tunable White

RGBCCT LED strips offer colored light and tunable white from warm white through cool white on one strip!

4-in-1 RGB + White

4-in-1 RGB + White

A single RGBW LED light strip offers both colorfed light and pure white light that can be 2700K, 3000K, 4000K, 5000K, or 6500K.

RGB LED Strips

RGB LED Strips

12V and 24V RGB LED strip lights that offer vivid and vibrant colors. Qulity LED strips that deliver highly bright colored light.

RGB + CCT Tunable White LED Strips

RGB + White Color Changing LED Strips

RGB LED Strips

Differences between RGB and RGBW LED strip

RGB LED strip compared with RGBW LED strip

RGB LED light strip has three color channels. In comparison, RGBW LED strip has four color channels that include white.

The RGB LED strip lights can mix three primary colors to produce light of any color, including white light. It is just that the white light may contain traces of other colors. In other words, the white is not pure white. Hence the white light has poor CRI, which is the ability to rendering colors of other objects. The poor quality white is not friendly to human eyes, not good for long time usage.

Besides colored light, high quality white is also important in certain applications. Therefore, a white light-emitting chip is added to the three color RGB chips. This is how the RGBW LED strip was born. Here, the white chips can be cool white, neutral white, or warm white.

In addition to producing any color, the RGBW LED strips can mix colored light with white light, and the four-in-one mixture makes the color bolder and richer, creating more brilliant and more vibrant colors.

RGBW LED strip light can choose to emit pure white light only, so it has the function of monochromatic white light. This is why RGBW LED strip lights are used in a wider range of applications than RGB LED strip lights.

That RGB colored chips plus two different types of white chips (warm white and cool white) makes a 5-in-1 LED node, which is commonly used for RGB + CCT LED light strip. In addition to all the characteristics of the RGB and RGBW LED strip lights, the RGB + CCT LED light strip also has the features of tunable white light strips, which can produce white light of variable CCT, such as 1800K, 2400K, 2700K, 6500K, or any color temperatures in between.

The advantages of our color changing LED light strips

Our color changing LED strips are born with high quality components, scientific circuit design, and advanced manufacturing process.

1. Use high-brightness LEDs. If preferable, the brightness can be easily adjusted to lower levels with the help of LED controllers.

2. LEDs are strictly selected with Bin technology to ensure the best color consistency and high luminous efficacy.

3. High copper content in the carrier flexible printed circuit board for better current flow and more effective heat dissipation during continuous operation.

4. Thanks to high-quality chips and the advanced design of the light strips, the lifetime of our strip lights can easily exceed 50,000 hours.

5. Come with genuine 3M double-sided tape, do not fall off once it sticks to the mounting surface.

Why are RGB LED strip lights called color changing LED strip lights?

In order to generate luminous colors, LED controllers are required to operate color changing RGB LED strips. These controllers, set between LED power supply and RGB LED strips, take over the color management for RGB color changing LED strips. An RGB LED controller works basically like a 3-way dimmer, which regulates the brightness of the three basic colors through three channels.

The three basic color channels are dimmed to different levels of brightness, whereby the relative brightness of the individual channels to each other, not the absolute brightness, is decisive for the cumulative luminous color. The sum of the intensity of the three individual colors results in many light colors. Exactly how many? The answer is that it can produce 16,777,216 (256x256x256) colors.

Additive color system of RGB LED strip lights
LEDs emit light, therefore the color mixture of color changing RGB LED strip lights belongs to the additive color system, which is based on the sum of the different light colors. If two primary colors are mixed, the color is light. If three primary colors (red, green, and blue) are mixed, the light color gets lighter and the white light will be emitted.

The best examples of additive color system can be found on computer monitors or on TV screens. With a strong magnifying glass, you'll see that each pixel consists of red, green, and blue sub-pixels. By changing the brightness of these sub-pixels, you can create light of any color.

The figure below shows the mixing scheme for the additive system.

RGB mixing scheme of additive system

The additive color mixing system is like this: Red + Green = Yellow, Red + Blue = Magenta, Blue + Green = Cyan, Red + Blue + Green = White.

The more colors are added and mixed, the brighter the resulting color. Because the relative brightness is critical, RGB LED strips can not only produce the desired color, but also can adjust its overall brightness. This can be simply understood like it is as for flashlights. It is different brightness for one flashlight, two flashlights, and three flashlights. The more flashlights there are, the higher the brightness.

In contrast, subtractive color mixing system is on the opposite. The more colors are added to the mixture, the darker the color produced. For example, painting is a subtractive color mixing system because the color of the painting is the result of light reflection, not light-emitting.

Most color changing LED strip lights use 5050 LEDs

Most of the color changing LED strip lights use 5050 LEDs because of their strong performance as colored LEDs. The 5050 RGB LED has red, green, and blue color chips enclosed in the same LED casing, 5050 RGBW LED has one more white chip, and 5050 RGBCCT LED has two more white chips.

5050 LED's size is 5.0x5.0x1.6mm. 5050 LED's brace bracket is thick and the LED is physically sturdy. Because of its great color change performance, it has been widely used in multi color changing LED light strips.

How do RGB color changing LED strip lights achieve color gradients?

As mentioned earlier, RGB LED strip lights must work together with the RGB LED controller. However, in contrast to conventional dimmers, in addition to the basic ability to mix and produce different colors, the RGB controller has the advanced ability to control the dimension of time for the color change, affecting the length of time between color change sequences.

The control of temporal dimension allows RGB LED strip light to show a color gradient over time. Since most RGB LED controllers have the ability to control the temporal dimension of color changing, the multi color LED strips can produce dynamic color gradients as well as adjust the speed of the color gradient.

What can color changing LED strip lights do?

color changing LED strip lighting for bars
RGBCCT color changing LED strip lighting for ceiling

The answer is simple, basically everything, i.e. they can produce any desired colors. Due to the flexibility of generating luminescent colors, RGB color changing LED strip lights are suitable both for residential and commercial applications in which adjustable luminous colors are required for different circumstances, and for lighting solutions in which a very specific luminous color is desired.

It is perfect for bars, casinos, stages, and parties, as color changing lighting is a basic choice for these places. At the same time, the RGB color changing LED strips can sync with music to create the dynamic and energetic atmosphere.

Color changing LED strip lights can also provide a static single color at your choice. This single color selection is realized through LED controller. For example the color changing LED strip light can stay at pink color or purple color. So you can choose one color for your store, restaurant, home theater, and bias lighting for TV and PC.

Other applications include decorative lighting for bedrooms, game rooms, cars and RVs, boats and yachts, event venues, storefront windows, and landscape lighting.

What components are needed for the color changing LED strip lighting system?

Typically, the color changing LED strip lighting system requires the following components: LED power + LED controller + color changing LED strip. Each component must coordinate and match in terms of performance and functions. The LED power supplies or power adapters convert high AC voltage to 12V or 24V DC. The LED controllers are suitable for 12V and 24V color changing LED strip lights.

The power supply voltage must always be the same as the voltage of the LED strip! When connecting multiple RGB LED strips, it is recommended using multiple wires to power the controller and by using terminal block connector or splicing connectors, extend wire harness from the controller to the color changing RGB LED strip lights.

LED controllers

LED controller is the critical part of the RGB color changing strip lighting system. There are many types of LED controllers that manage color changing LED strip lights in different ways, which are explained below in regard to the functions and features.

For more information on LED controllers, see RGB LED controller, RGBW LED controller, and RGBCCT LED controller.

LED controllers have the distinction of IR, RF, Bluetooth, WiFi, DMX mode and so on. Infrared(IR) LED controllers are cheaper, but a clear line of sight is required between the remote control and the receiver, which means that the receiver cannot be installed in a hidden area.

The other wireless LED controllers, such as RF, Bluetooh, and WiFi, are more advanced, and the receiver can be safely mounted in a suspended ceiling or adjacent room and can still receive control commands.

What are multi-zone LED controllers?

When using LED strip lights, we can easily control lighting by zones due to the technology advancement of LED controller. Multi-zone LED controllers are developed to control different zones synchronously or independently via one remote control. The so-called zone is the group of LED strips connected to the same LED controller.

If you plan an always uniformly colored light installation, your object is limited to one zone. The lighting design becomes interesting if multiple zones are to be illuminated in such a way that each zone is in different color at the same time.

For example, if you would like to set up two areas with one area in red light and the other in green light, you can create two strip lighting zones which can be realized by using two RGB LED controllers, each controller for one zone.

Multi-zone RGB LED controller for 8 zone application

WiFi RGB, RGBW, and RGBCCT Controller

More and more users now choose the WiFi RGB, RGBW and RGBCCT controller, which uses WiFi signal to control the lights through the smart phone. Using a smart phone to control lights looks even cooler. Some WiFi controllers can play music through a mobile phone, and the color changing LED strip light changes color as the music plays.

The application software is easier to select and customize the colors than the general controllers, choose the color temperature of white light, and adjust the brightness of each color light.

Some WiFi controllers are compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and can be integrated into the home intelligent control system. For more information on LED controllers, please see the LED controller article.

Notes for installing color changing LED strips

Here are some common considerations to help you avoid common installation mistakes and make your installation smooth.

  1. Each group of LEDs form a working section that can be used separately. Cut the light strip along the cutting line, so that each unit can still be a complete section and work properly.

  2. When selecting the LED connectors for strip lights, pay attention to choose the matching connectors. RGB color changing light strip needs to use 4pin connectors, while RGBW strip uses 5pin connectors, so the RGB and RGBW connectors cannot be interchangeable. Also make sure that the width of the connector matches the strip. Generally, the width of RGB LED strip is 10mm or 12mm. The width of RGBW LED strip is generally 12mm.

  3. There are positive and negative signs on the connectors. When installing the connectors, pay attention to the positive and negative polarities of the connector, and match the positive and negative of the light strip.

  4. If the color of the light strip is irregular when controlled by RGB controllers, it may be a problem with the light strip, or it may be a problem of the controller. You can check it one by one.

    Warning. A very tricky detail can also cause this problem, that is, the circuits of different colors are accidentally connected together. Therefore, remember to check if the wires are accidentally connected together when the colors display irregularly during installation.

  5. When choosing LED power supply, firstly, the voltage of the power supply should match with the voltage of the light strip, and secondly, the power of the power supply is recommended to be 20% larger than the power of the LED light strips.

  6. Start with a good setup plan before installation, lay out the light strip and controllers on the sketch and on the scene before tearing off the protective film of 3M tape for the actual mounting of LED strip. If there is no overall planning before installation, during actual installation you may need to tear off the LED strip and reinstall it. Removing and reinstalling may damage the light strip. Re-use will also reduce the viscosity of the 3M tape, and the light strip may fall off in the future.

  7. Please note that the power marked for the RGB strip and the RGBW LED strip refers to the maximum power consumption, which is only achieved when all color channels (R, G, B and white) are set to full brightness. Although the maximum power consumption of the light strip must be considered when selecting the appropriate LED power supply, the power consumption is not as large as the indicated in daily use, because not all channels are turned on and run at full brightness.

After choosing LED light strips, you will need to choose a proper power supply. Recommended reading: How to choose LED power supply, and How to choose LED strip light power supply.

For more detailed information on installation, please read How to Install LED Strip Lights?

5-Year Warranty
We know that your projects need high quality LED strip lights, which are what we are good at. We have been dedicated to developing and making quality LED strips for over ten years. Many types are available to serve the needs of contractors and end users. Our LED strip lights are UL listed and come with a 5-year warranty.