LED strip lights have become increasingly popular for both decorative and practical lighting. The WS2812B LED controller allows full color control of digitally addressable LED strips using convenient smartphone apps. Read on to learn how to install and use one of these high-tech controllers.
What is the WS2812B LED Controller?
The WS2812B LED controller is a small device that works with digitally addressable RGB LED light strips. These LED strips have smart LEDs that can each be assigned colors and brightness levels individually.
The controller sends power and data to the LED strip and allows it to be controlled wirelessly using a smartphone app over WiFi or Bluetooth. This allows for advanced lighting effects like color changing, dimming, and scene setting.
Key Features and Benefits
Here are some of the great features of the WS2812B LED controller:
- Wireless app control via WiFi or Bluetooth
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands
- Control of color, brightness, effects, timers, and scenes
- Splits 300 LEDs per controller maximum
- Compact small size fits anywhere
- Simple installation with adhesive backing
- Animated lighting modes like pulse, fade, and flow
- Schedule hours of operation for automatic on/off
- Group multiple controllers for larger installations
- Paintable casing blends into any decor
- Energy efficient long-lasting LEDs
What You’ll Need
To install and use a WS2812B LED controller, you’ll need:
- WS2812B Controller
- Compatible 12V LED strip lights
- DC power adapter
- WiFi or Bluetooth enabled smartphone/tablet
- Controller app installed
- Scissors for cutting strip
- Soldering iron and solder
- Heat shrink tubing
- Electrical or painters tape
How to Install the Controller
Follow these steps to install your WS2812B LED controller:
1. Mount the Controller
Choose an indoor location near an outlet like under cabinets or shelves. Clean surface then peel adhesive backing and press firmly in place.
2. Connect the Power
Plug the power adapter into an outlet then connect the barrel jack to the controller. Red light on the controller indicates power.
3. Connect the LED Lights
Cut the strip lights to desired length. Solder lead wires to the input pads. Connect leads to the controller output.
4. Add Weatherproofing
For outdoor strips, cover all solder joints and exposed wires with heat shrink tubing and electrical tape.
5. Stick Down the LED Strip
Clean and dry the mounting surface. Tape down the LED strip straight in position. For outdoor use, silicone adhesive is recommended.
How to Use the Smartphone App
Once installed, you can control the LEDs with the controller app:
- Download the compatible app for your device like MagicHome, LEDENET, or eMylo.
- Enable Bluetooth or WiFi mode on the controller.
- Open the app and select the “+” to add device. Choose the controller and enter WiFi password if prompted.
- You can now select colors, adjust brightness, program effects like fade and strobe, set timers, save favorite scenes, and more all from your mobile device.
- Give voice commands by enabling compatibility with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
Tips for Using WS2812B LED Controllers
Follow these tips to maximize performance of your new WS2812B LED lighting system:
- Update firmware on the controller when available for best app connectivity.
- Avoid bending the LED strips to a radius less than 3 inches or the circuit can break.
- For very long strips, use multiple controllers spaced evenly to maintain even lighting.
- Keep minimum 1⁄2 inch spacing between strip adhesive backing and any surface for ventilation.
- Set master brightness to 80% or below and vary using the app to prolong LED lifespan.
- Disable animations when not needed and use a static color to minimize power use.
- Use the timer function to automatically turn lights on and off when away to simulate occupancy.
- Group multiple controllers in the app for synchronized control of large or complex installations.
- Experiment with the dynamic effects like color looping, music sync, and ripple to enhance your lighting.
Creative Uses for WS2812B LED Systems
With smartphone control of color changing LED strips, here are some fun and practical ways to use this technology:
- Accent lighting behind TVs and monitors to reduce eye strain
- Under cabinet lighting in kitchens with recipes synced to pulsate lights
- Low voltage staircase lighting with auto shut-off timer for safety
- Coordinate holiday lighting colors and animations throughout home
- Backlighting on headboards for bedtime reading light
- Ambient outdoor lighting surrounding patios and garden paths
- Add vivid lighting to home theaters synchronized with the movie/music
- DIY automotive interior and exterior lighting with color changing animation
- Fun colored lighting for kids’ rooms with timer-enforced bedtimes
The possibilities are endless for enhancing any space with easy-to-control WS2812B LED strip lighting. Get creative with the settings to create perfect lighting ambiance for any mood or activity.
WS2812B LED strip light controllers unlock the full potential of digitally addressable RGB LED strips. With simple installation and intuitive smartphone app control, you can easily program color changes, animations, timers, and lighting scenes. Use these advanced controllers to take your LED lighting to the next level.