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Comparing WS2811 and WS2812B: Key Differences Explained

With their flexibility and self-adhesive design, LED strip lights feature LEDs arranged at consistent intervals. Typically sold in 5-meter lengths, these strips can be trimmed at designated sections or joined for extended distances.

Addressable LED strips take lighting to the next level, offering enhanced effects like cascading chases, smooth fades, meteor-like trails, and more. Using the control system, one can even craft custom lighting sequences.

However, the wide variety of addressable LED strips can be perplexing. A common query, for instance, is discerning the differences between the WS2811 and WS2812B models.

What Is WS2811?

WS2811 is an addressable RGB LED strip that allows individual control of each LED’s color via an information signal. This signal, primarily a pulse-width-modulated (PWM) signal, can be sourced from devices like an Arduino board or specific SPI RGB LED controllers. PWM is essential in regulating LED brightness. The name “ws2811” originates from its driver IC. Commonly recognized as ws2811, this RGB LED operates on DC 12V. Although the WS2811 RGB LED Controller we discussed works on DC 12V, it effectively manages its functions.

What Is WS2812B?

The WS2812B contains a 5050 component package integrating the control circuit with the RGB chip. It boasts a signal-reshaping amplification drive circuit and a digital port data latch that intelligently processes input. Moreover, it houses an accurate internal oscillator and a programmable constant current control part, ensuring consistent color brightness.

Regarding its data transfer protocol, a singular NZR communication channel exists. Once activated and reset, data is sent to the DIN port. The first pixel collects the initial 24-bit data, transferring it to its internal data latch. The succeeding data, reshaped by the internal amplification circuit, moves to the DO port destined for the next pixel.

Each pixel subsequently reduces the signal to its 24 bits. Thanks to the auto-reshaping transmit technology, cascade pixel count isn’t bound by transmission speed. WS2812B LEDs are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and known for their brightness, scattering angle uniformity, low power consumption, and longevity. The future sees a shift towards LEDs with integrated control chips for more compact, efficient circuits.

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Distinguishing WS2811 from WS2812B: Voltage Differences

The WS2811 LED chip requires a 12-volt input for optimal performance, whereas the WS2812B chip operates effectively at 5V. When powering a long LED strip, there is a noticeable voltage decline across its span. Consequently, LEDs towards the strip’s end – those farthest from the board – receive less voltage.

Consider a strip with 30 LEDs experiencing a 2V decline towards its end. With the WS2811 chip, the remaining LEDs would each receive approximately 10V. This is within its operational range because it’s a 12V LED. However, with a WS2812B running on 5V, a 3V decline would result, deviating from the expected 5V. This marks a significant voltage reduction.

 WS2811 LED StripWS2812B LED Strip
Integrated CircuitExternalBuilt-In
VoltageDC 12 VoltsDC 5 Volts
LED Per Meter60 LEDs Per Meter60 LEDs Per Meter
Power Consumption14 W/M18 W/M
WiresPositive + Negative + Single Data LinePositive + Negative + Single Data Line

Differences in LED Control: WS2811 vs WS2812B

The WS2811 isn’t designed to control individual LEDs; it manages groups of three LEDs simultaneously. If you want to control fewer than three LEDs, the WS2811 won’t allow that granularity level. In contrast, the WS2812B is tailored for single LED control. For those needing precise control of just one LED, the WS2812B offers a more refined solution over the WS2811.

Distinguishing LED Control Capabilities: WS2811 vs WS2812B

 WS2811 LED StripWS2812B LED Strip
Control Mode3 LEDs Group ControlIndividual Control
IC Quantity [60 LEDs/Meter For Example]20 Pcs60 Pcs

Distinguishing Power Consumption: WS2812B vs. WS2811

The WS2811, operating at 12V, consumes more electricity. In contrast, the WS2812B is more power-efficient, running on 5V.

Advantages and Disadvantages of WS2811 and WS2812B

Advantages of WS2811:

  1. Its 12V operation allows it to power many LEDs in a sequence efficiently.
  2. This design facilitates more straightforward management of numerous LEDs.

Disadvantages of WS2811:

  1. It has a limitation of controlling up to only three LEDs simultaneously, leading to a minimum granularity of three LEDs.
  2. Due to its 12V operation, it has higher power consumption.

Advantages of WS2812B

  • Each LED comes with an integrated on/off switch.
  • Every control point in the LED system corresponds to a distinct LED.
  • Offers reduced power consumption.
  • WS2812B is more cost-effective and more accessible to produce than WS2811, and its RGB LEDs occupy minimal space on the strips.

Disadvantages of WS2812B

  • Operating at 5V, it experiences a significant voltage drop as the LED count on the strip grows.


Deciding between the WS2811 and WS2812B hinges on your specific needs. For managing extensive LED strips, the WS2811 is your go-to. On the other hand, for granular control down to individual LEDs, opt for the WS2812B. Both these chips have unique advantages and limitations, so evaluate your requirements before choosing.

At MyLikeLed, we pride ourselves on delivering top-notch LED strips and neon flex products. With rigorous quality checks in our advanced labs, we guarantee premium quality. Plus, we provide bespoke options for our LED range. For the best LED strips and neon flex, contact MyLikeLed today!


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