More Pixel Protocols

LED Pixel Protocol APA102

Overview

This pixel protocol was designed by APA Electronic Co. in Taiwan. Also known as “Superled”, APA102 is one of the most common protocols for pixel lighting displays. The control circuit and LEDs are integrated in a 5050 SMD package, which provides a small physical footprint for each pixel.

Current Control

APA102 has the ability to digitally control the current of the connected LEDs. Use the 5-bit global current control to lower the brightness without sacrificing resolution. This global brightness control can be set when configuring your PixLite Mk3 controller.

Specifications

PixLite Mk1

PixLite Mk2

PixLite Mk3

Clock Type

Clocked 

Color Resolution

Bits 

Current Control

Global: Bits 

Physical Package

SMD5050 with integrated LEDs 

RGB

RBGW

Input Voltage

5V 

Output Pixel Voltage

5V 

PWM Rate

1920Hz 

Suitable Camera

Up to 67fps 

Data Transfer Rate

N/A 

Redundant Data Line

Colors

Color 

Brightness 

Wavelength 

Red 

500 – 650 mcd 

620 – 625 nm 

Green 

370 – 530 mcd 

522 – 525 nm 

Blue 

120 – 165 mcd 

465 – 467 nm 

Considerations for Use

Advantages

  • Presence of a clock allows for faster refresh rates
  • High PWM rate allows for filming these pixels with cameras up to 64fps

Disadvantages

  • Only 8 bits of data for each color makes dimming curves less smooth
  • Limited to 5V, causing short cable lengths
  • No redundancy in data
  • Dissipates heat less efficiently than APA102C

PixLite Support

Are you looking for APA102 pixel drivers that work with Art-Net or sACN?

All PixLite Mk1, Mk2, and Mk3 products support APA102 as an available Pixel IC type, so get in touch with us to find out how the lighting specialists at Advatek can support you in your pixel lighting project.

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