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LPD8806 vs WS2801 Digital Strip

by waxmo on Thu May 03, 2012 9:56 am

I am going to purchase my first 5m 5050 digital strip. I cannot decide between a WS2801 strip or a LPD8806. The LDP8806 is slightly higher in price than the WS2801. I am not purchasing the strip for any special application, just for fun. I plan to use a Arduino for control. I have read some of the technical differences:
These digital addressable LPD8806 LED strips can display 2 million colors per pixel and each LED can be controlled individually. The LPD8806 is a lot like the WS2801 with the following differences: it works from 2.7V up and has six channels allowing it to control two RGB LEDs. The downside is that it only does 7 bit PWM, making 127 brightness levels per LED for up to 21 bit color (2 million colors).
Do these difference in levels of brightness and colors really matter for my use? Is one strip easier to work with than the other? Should I go with the cheaper of the two? Forum support and loadable sketches for the Arduino are also a consideration. I am a newb at digital strips, but not in programming and electronics.
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Re: LPD8806 vs WS2801 Digital Strip

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu May 03, 2012 10:32 am

We have both types:
We sell the LPD8806s in flexible strips. The WS2801s come as strands of individual pixels - with several different pixel sizes available.

The LPD8806 strips are less expensive per pixel. The strips are simpler to mount. The individual WS2801 pixels give you more flexibility in positioning.

I don't think you will be able to discern any difference in color rendering abilities between the two types.

As for wiring and programming. Both are very straightforward to connect - and we have library and example code for each. There are tutorial links in the product descriptions and after-purchase support available here in the forums. :D
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Re: LPD8806 vs WS2801 Digital Strip

by redocili on Mon May 21, 2012 4:59 am

Hello to all

this is my first attempt to build an adalight system to my tv.
i will use it according the adalight project, (i have an arduino uno rev.3 board to test it), using with a linux stb sat receiver (dm800hd with enigma2).
i have read it will work only with boblight plugin ( i'm right?).

now i have to buy a led strip or string. my tv is a 32" so i assume it needs 2 strings of 25 leds each or 2 meters strips.

which is the best option, buy 2 strings with WS2801 (50 leds/channels) or strips with LPD8806 (2 meters with 64 leds/channels)? there are some differences in timings, legs, ect.. with normal use as watching tv? they works good in same way with arduino? it needs the same ledstream code?

last thing..do you have some web shops or affiliates that ships from europe?

thanks a lot.
Last edited by redocili on Mon May 21, 2012 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LPD8806 vs WS2801 Digital Strip

by pburgess on Mon May 21, 2012 10:51 am

Hello there,

The maximum spacing between LEDs on the WS2801 strands is about 10 cm. I seem to recall that some users could get a single strand to just barely fit a 32" TV, but you should probably do your own measurements to be sure. Also, for a larger screen like that, more LEDs will give a brighter and smoother result.

The WS2801 and LPD8806 strips follow similar principles but are different enough that a different Arduino sketch is required for each (LEDstream.pde for the former, LEDstream_LPD8806.pde for the latter, both are included in the Git repository). The WS2801 has one more bit of color resolution (8 bits each R,G,B vs. 7 bits for the LPD strips), but the difference is probably subtle enough where it's not very noticeable.

As for software: I always recommend that users start out with our own Processing code (Adalight.pde) to get the system working. Some users have reported success with Boblight, but I've not managed to get that one working myself and couldn't offer any guidance there.
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Re: LPD8806 vs WS2801 Digital Strip

by redocili on Mon May 21, 2012 11:24 am

Thank you very much for the reply.

i'm a little confused about adalight, first time i try to play with...
for the arduino i only need the proper "ledstream" code to upload to arduino and then i can control it (and the leds) via compatible pc/stb software (boblight, lightpack, atmo or adalight)...is it?

i don't need the library codes ( only if i use arduino stand alone)...right?

i have read also about fastspi library...can it be used in spite of ledstream? does it the same job?

for the led strips/string i have read that ws2801, apart the 24 color bit , has some delays (latch time) and lower freq ...can this have some troubles using ambilight clones programs? will lpd8806 perform better?

Last, i have heard about some strings with different ICs like ldp6803, could be good enough? Can be used with ledstream or fastspi?

thanks
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Re: LPD8806 vs WS2801 Digital Strip

by pburgess on Mon May 21, 2012 2:40 pm

redocili wrote:for the arduino i only need the proper "ledstream" code to upload to arduino and then i can control it (and the leds) via compatible pc/stb software (boblight, lightpack, atmo or adalight)...is it? i don't need the library codes ( only if i use arduino stand alone)...right?


Exactly, yes.

i have read also about fastspi library...can it be used in spite of ledstream? does it the same job


LEDstream is a unique thing. The fastSPI library is for standalone Arduino projects (similar to how our own Adafruit_WS2801 library works), and there's no need or benefit to trying to integrate this with LEDstream.

i have read that ws2801 [...] has some delays (latch time) and lower freq ...can this have some troubles using ambilight clones programs? will lpd8806 perform better?


No problem at all. The difference in timing is less than one millisecond, and there are much more important bottlenecks to contend with (such as serial port speed, and most importantly how quickly the screen captures occur, that's really the main problem there).

Last, i have heard about some strings with different ICs like ldp6803, could be good enough? Can be used with ledstream or fastspi?


I wouldn't recommend LPD6803 pixels for Adalight, and we don't have a version of LEDstream for them anyway.
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