More Pixel Protocols

LED Pixel Protocol APA102C


This pixel protocol was designed by APA Electronic Co. in Taiwan. Also known as “Superled”, APA102C 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. Very similar to its previous version, APA102, APA102C provides a larger metallic area for better heat dissipation.

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.

APA102C pixel protocol - Advatek Lighting

APA102C pixel protocol


PixLite Mk1

PixLite Mk2

PixLite Mk3

Clock Type


Color Resolution


Current Control

Global: Bits 

Physical Package

SMD5050 with integrated LEDs 



Input Voltage


Output Pixel Voltage


PWM Rate


Suitable Camera

Up to 67fps 

Data Transfer Rate


Redundant Data Line






300 – 330 mcd 

620 – 625 nm 


420 – 460 mcd 

522 – 525 nm 


160 – 180 mcd 

465 – 467 nm 

Considerations for Use


  • Presence of a clock allows for faster refresh rates
  • High PWM rate allows for filming these pixels with cameras up to 64fps
  • Dissipates heat more efficiently than APA102


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

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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