So this is LP5036 by TI (Datasheet), a 36 channel RGB LED driver I2C interface-able with a micro controller, which means it can drive upto 12 RGB LEDs individually up to my understanding.

But using special circuitry with transistors/ multiplexing/ GPIO driving, how far can this driver be harnessed to the maximum extent? How many maximum number of RGB LEDs can be individually controlled using just one LP5036 ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ what do you mean with "to the maximum extent"? It's not clear what you mean with that. the thing can control 36 channels. If you can build external multiplexers for these channels, that's not a feature of the IC. Considering you can build arbitrary external circuitry, the answer to your question would be "infinity, but what do you gain by making a device. which was meant to make addressing individual LEDs easy, hard to use?" \$\endgroup\$ Jul 23, 2020 at 10:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ So, classical XY Problem; there's no sensible answer to your question, which you think solves your underlying problem, but you nowhere mention what you actually want to achieve with that. What is it that you want to build? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 23, 2020 at 10:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can drive 12 separate colours, but you can drive more than 12 LEDs if you're okay with some of them always being the same colour. Or 18 LEDs if you only need RG or GB or RB. \$\endgroup\$
    – user253751
    Jul 23, 2020 at 11:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If I want to say, build a RGB LED matrix, using MOSFETs is it possible to construct a 12x12 matrix and control any individual LED of any color or in combination with an other LED with another color of choice? @Marcus \$\endgroup\$
    – Nikeboy
    Jul 23, 2020 at 11:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nikeboy um, so why not simply use twelve LP5036 instead? What you're trying to do, again, is use an intentionally simple-to-use device in a complex setup. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 23, 2020 at 11:30

1 Answer 1


using I2C switches you can keep branching out until you run out of I2C bandwidth. on ceach terminal branch you can have 4 chips by programming different addresses using the ADDR0 and ADDR1 terminals.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It has got 36 channels, 36 divided by 3 (R,G,B) makes it 12 RGB LEDs. Please let me know how you counted it as 10? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nikeboy
    Jul 23, 2020 at 11:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ ah, right the datasheed covers two different models. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jasen
    Jul 23, 2020 at 11:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Agreed, but this also develops this from his motivation. Combining "transistors/ multiplexing/ GPIO" is the purpose of the chip; to extend this add more of the same. Addressable up to 4 devices per I2C is worth mentioning. \$\endgroup\$
    – mbedded
    Jul 23, 2020 at 11:31

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