I am a beginner, I am following this post to program RGB LEDs (smd 5050).

I want few specific LEDs to glow in specific color while other LEDs are glowing in other color. Need help in doing this.

I have Arduino UNO board with me.

EDIT: Atleast, guiding in right direction will be appreciated.

LED Strip image

enter image description here


2 Answers 2


From my understanding, all LEDs on your strip are connected in a serial/parallel way that makes it impossible to drive the LEDs individually.

You need a strip with either WS2812 or APA102. APA102 is easier to drive from an Arduino as the protocol is SPI. Addfruit provides a very comprehensive description how to drive WS2812 from an Arduino.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the suggestion, is there any difference between WS2812 and SMD RGB 5050 Led strips? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mr_Green
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 8:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ 5050 is only a form factor, and I concluded from the link you posted that your LEDs a just simple RGB with no internal controller. WS2812 and APA102 are both RGB 5050 form factor but with internal controllers, taking care of the PWM generation to drive each LED individually. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 9:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RolandMieslinger: can you please help me know whether my led strip has a internal controller or not \$\endgroup\$
    – Strikers
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 7:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Your strip doesn't have LEDs with internal controller, as it has R, G, B marking. Strips with LED's with controller would be marked eg. +, GND, DIN (data in), DOUT (data out), or similar. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 8:02

You need 3 PWM channels per LED. Get a bigger MCU (like Arduono Mega 2560) if you are driving many LEDs this way. Or you will have to look into other solutions like purpose built chips or FPGA.


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