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How Can You Control RGB LEDs and Strip Lights?
To make precise colors from your RGB light you will need an RGB LED controller, they are sometimes referred to as 3-channel controllers as they basically control the 3 primary color ‘channels’. This will make it easy to automatically tune the 3-LEDs to make the light you want. Take a look at a few different types below that we typically use:
1. Single-Zone RGB LED Controllers
These controllers are commonly used to control LED Strip lights. These come with a simple receiving unit that goes in between your power and RGB strips with a handheld controller that lets you control from 20-30 meters away.
You will find these with RF radio frequency connection or IR line-of-site. These controllers easily control all the LED lights connected to it, the downside is you cannot control different sections independently.
2. Wifi / Bluetooth Multi-Zone Smart RGB Controllers
These SMART controllers connect to your smart devices via an included phone app. There is also an option to include a remote if you want two options to dim. The Multiple-Zone support lets each RGB remote (or smart device app) connect to multiple receivers, therefore allowing you to control multiple zones/rooms in your house. Easily control your office, living room and bedroom all from the same RGB controller.
These controllers also allow you more range of colors as you can adjust your Red, Green and Blue LEDs manually from 0-256 within the phone app if you would like.
3. DMX Controller for RGB LEDs
A DMX controller gives you unlimited choices to control RGB lighting and is truthfully what could possibly give you 16.7 million different colors. DMX controllers used to be way too big and bulky to be feasible in a small RGB application. However, with the increase in technology, DMX controllers today can be small touch panels, wall controllers or even smart phone applications.
DMX controllers are usually used for larger jobs or anywhere that specific, numerous colors are needed. Choosing the DMX controller for you will ultimately come down to how many strips you are running and how much you want to spend. Some DMX controllers can manage thousands of channels at once.
12V RGB Flex Strips
The most common RGB light strips we sell are 12V Flexible strip lights. The strips feature 30-60 LEDs per meter on a strip that you can buy in 3-16.4ft. lengths. The strips have both a waterproof IP65 and non-waterproof IP20 version to help with both indoor and outdoor applications. These strips all come with a 4-pin C4P connector that will work with our simple remote style RGB dimmers or smart RGB dimmer options.
Plug-in RGB LED Strip Lights with Controller – For Long Length, Quality RGB
The newest edition to the RGB color-changing lights… max length used to be 32.8 feet, but these strips blow that out of the water and can run up to 150 feet in length! Each strip comes with a power cord attached that features an RGB Controller right in-line. The RGB strip kit comes with your choice of length with attached power cord and IR remote control. This is an easy color-changing strip option for outdoors or running around rooms and coves inside. The strip is encased in a heavy duty clear PVC housing with UV inhibitor. It is cuttable every meter so the user can customize more after purchase.
Side-Emitting RGB Flex Strips
These unique LED strips are basically the same as the 12V RGB flex strips. The only difference being these feature a super small RGB LED that emits sideways on the strip. This is a great option for areas that you need to shoot the light directly up like in wall wash or backlighting applications. The smaller diodes are a bit more expensive so these run pricier than the normal 12V strip style but the convenience of side illumination makes this an easy trade off if your application calls for it.
RGB+W LED Strip Lights
Want to make things even more confusing? Take all those millions of colors and shades we talked about before and add in another LED. That is what these LED Strips do, while RGB LEDs use 3 colored diodes, the RGBW uses 4…the extra one being a white diode. Sometimes they are built directly into the same diode, an example of this is the Cree XML-2 RGBW LED, but our 24V RGB+W strip alternates RGB and Warm White diodes on the strip.
RGB+W LED lights will not work with RGB (3-channel) dimmers, it will need an RGB+W Controller which has 4 channels.