Pixel Tape Tips and Tricks
Important notes before getting your project started:
All Pixel Tape should be installed by a qualified electricianEach project is unique. The Pixel Tape purchased varies depending on conditions such as aesthetics, environment and space availability. Before you purchase think of the following:
- What type of aesthetics does the project require?
- Where will the LED tape be placed?
- What type of surface will the LED tape be placed in?
Introduction to ENTTEC Pixel Tape
What is Pixel Tape? Pixel tape is flexible circuit board which is populated by multicolour addressable surface mounted (SMD) light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Each LED has its own chip which enables it to be controlled to respond (e.g: change colour, switch off etc) individually. The flexible circuit board usually had an adhesive backing, which aids with quick and easy installation.Why should I use ENTTEC tape as opposed to others?ENTTEC pixel tapes are always compatible with ENTTEC Pixel controllers. These tapes are designed to conform to the industry standards and have been tested extensively for compatibility with the ENTTEC Pixel Controllers.Designing Your SystemWhich product to choose? (Dots vs Tape) This depends on the end user application and space availability.Pros of Using tape
Pros of Using Dots
- Easy to install
- Steady and consistent light
- Takes a smaller space compared with ENTTEC Pixel Dot products
Which product to choose? (5 V or 12 V) This depends on the end user application. The colour change due to voltage drop on 5 V pixel tape is more apparent than on a 12V. Therefore, the maximum possible run of a 12V is higher than a 5V tape. However, the power consumption of a 12V tape is higher than a 5V reel. Therefore, it’s best to calculate and understand the power availability of your system before making a purchase.Which product to choose? (RGB vs RGBW) This again depends on the end user application.ENTTEC RGB Pixel Tape uses a 3-in-1 colour (red, green and blue) LED chip. By having the three colours, red, green and blue, at full brightness, the end user can obtain a nearly white colour. RGB Tape also uses 3 channels per led, which means lesser number of DMX universe, when it comes to mapping them. ENTTEC RGBW Pixel tape has a 4-in-1 colour (red, green, blue and white) LED chip. Although RGB can produce a colour close to white, the dedicated white LED of the ENTTEC RGBW Pixel Tape provides a much purer white tone. RGBW tape uses 4 channels per led, which means a larger number of DMX universe will be required during mapping the Tape.How many DMX channels per Pixel Tape ?The reason it's called Pixel Tape is that it can treat each dot on the tape as a separate combination of RGB. 1 Pixel = 3 DMX Channels (RGB) 1 Pixel = 4 DMX Channels (RGBW) With different densities of LED on the tape, and different lengths, you can multiply it all together and get a variety of results.For instance
- Higher IP rating compared with ENTTEC Pixel Tape
- Easy to install
- Variety of products to choose from to meet requirements of end user application
Handy To Remember:
- (8PL30) 30 RGB leds/m tape x 5 meter reel = 150 pixels (150 pixels x 3) = 450 channels
- (8PL60) 60 RGB leds/m tape x 5 meter reel = 300 pixels (300 pixels x 3) = 900 channels
- (8PL144) 144 RGB leds/m tape x 2 meter reel = 288 pixels (288 pixels x 3) = 864 channels
- (8PX30) 30 RGBW leds/m tape x 5 meter reel = 150 pixels (150 pixels x 4) = 600 channels
- (8PX60) 60 RGBW leds/m tape x 4 meter reel = 240 pixels (240 pixels x 4) = 960 channels
- 170 RGB Pixels = 510 DMX Channels = 1 DMX Universe
- 128 RGBW Pixels = 512 DMX Channels = 1 DMX Universe
What type of surface will be suitable for the Pixel tape?
- The Pixel tape should be installed on a clean and dry surface. Please clean the surface with alcohol using a clean cloth prior to installation.
- The surface should be thermally conductive and permits sufficient heat dissipation from the tape.
- Surface should not be textured or a low surface energy material
How to wire Pixel Tape with Pixie driver?
Wiring Diagram for Pixie DriverFor more information please refer to the Pixie Driver User Manual available here
Pixie Driver User Manual
How to wire Pixel Tape with Plink Injector?
For more information please refer to the Plink Application diagram available here
Plink Application diagram
Why are LEDs at the end of the tape warm white/ pink when driven white?This occurs because of voltage drop along the LED TAPE when attempting to power a longer length of the tape. As a result, of the voltage drop, pixels along the tape would gradually vary in colour when driven white. It is best to determine the maximum possible length of run before voltage drop will begin to affect (x meters) and to inject power after every x meters.My Pixel tape flickers at the end, why?This occurs because of voltage drop along the LED TAPE when attempting to power too long of a strip. As a result of the voltage drop, pixels at the end of the tape would flicker. It is best to determine the maximum possible length of run before voltage drop will begin to affect (x meters) and to inject power after every x meters.Will my Pixel Tape sourced from amazon or alibaba - work with ENTTEC Pixelator/ Pixie driver?
It depends on the protocol of the tape sourced and wiring. Wiring: There are two different types of wiring 3-wire or 4-wire tape. All ENTTEC Pixel controllers only support 3-wire tape. Protocol: ENTTEC Pixie driver supports the following protocols:
ENTTEC Pixelator and Pixelator Mini support the following protocols:
- WS2811, WS2812, WS2812B
- APA-104 LEDs
- WS2811, WS2812, WS2812B
- APA-104 LEDs
- 9PDOT protocols are only supported by revB (units sold from 2017 onwards)
- There might be other led protocols, that might be similar, to the ones supported by ENTTEC. We cannot claim to support all of them, but if you do happen to find one that does work, and is not listed, please let us know, so we can update our documentation