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Description: We know these look like a lot of our other LEDs, but they’re not! These are PTH Addressable RGB LEDs with a WS2812 control IC built right into the them. This PTH version is incredibly similar to its SMD cousin, except it is a lot simpler to solder into your project and is in a diffused 5mm package. This RGB LED has the control IC moved into the actual LED, so we wanted to offer this amazing product to you! They’re great when you need a lot of color from not a lot of board space, now more so than ever.

If you are looking for a great addressable LED in the more common LED form factor, then this is the perfect choice for you.

Note: Comes in packs of 5.


  • Power Supply: DC 4.5V - 6V
  • Internal Frequency: 800kHz
  • Single Wire Single Transmission


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Customer Comments

  • With the short legs to the left, the pinout for these is 1 - DIN, 2 - VCC, 3 - GND - 4 - DOUT

  • So since these LEDs have an IC inside them, do I need to add a .1uf capacitor next to each one, or is there already one built in?

    • I don' think theres a cap inside but it doesn’t hurt. FYI put a small resistor(330-550) between the first LED and the data pin or you’ll get this weird black cloud in your LED! (somehow it still works!)

  • Anyone have any information on the brightness of these (mcd)? I didn’t see it anywhere in the documentation.

  • There’s a problem with the datasheet: the picture at the top does not agree with the pinout in the “Application Note” section:

    <table> <tr> <td>Pin</td> <td>Pic</td> <td>AppNote</td> </tr> <tr> <td>1</td> <td>Din</td> <td>Vdd</td> </tr> <tr> <td>2</td> <td>Vdd</td> <td>Din</td> </tr> <tr> <td>3</td> <td>GND</td> <td>Do</td> </tr> <tr> <td>4</td> <td>Do</td> <td>GND</td> </tr> </table>

    Methinks SF needs to go chew on the supplier to get the datasheet corrected.

    Not to mention the fact that the “formatting help” suggests (in the syntax guide) that the above should have created a table… but what seems to come out is the raw HTML code…

    • To follow up, I did look at the similar (same?) products on the Adafruit site, and it was clear that those, at least, followed the pinouts in the picture (and mentioned by a_cavis in another post here), not the ones in the Application Note. (It will be at least several days before I have time to actually try them, but I’ll try to remember to post my results.)

      • OK, I finally got around to trying them. The pinout at the top of the datasheet IS the correct one. (The Application Note portion is WRONG.)

        Also, the ones I have act a bit differently at powerup from the Adafruit NeoPixels: These come up in “bright blue” mode (useful when you want to verify the wiring, but annoying later on) while the Adafruit NeoPixels I’ve used come up “lights off” – which is annoying when you’re at the stage of trying to verify the wiring, but can be nice once you’ve done that and are wanting to use your projects, especially in the presence of others.

        BTW, they fit nicely in http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1002327 (printed in NinjaFlex).

  • Is it more correct to say these are a “ws2812 package” with a “ws2811 controller IC built in” ? Your description stating … “with a WS2812 control IC built right” I think is incorrect.

    • Hi, A WS2811 is the name of the driver on it’s own. A WS2812 is the name for a LED with the driver built in. So you are some what correct. However, I do believe this would still fall under a 2812 as it has the LED attached.

  • Wish I had read the comments about this product. The picture on the data sheet is useless because it does not show lead length. I assumed the longest lead is positive like on most LEDs but it is the GND. So I blew one out of my five-pack.

    Adafruit has an excellent pinout photo of this device, see their NeoPixel Clear 5mm Through-Hole LED, product 1837 (a discontinued product). Select the fifth photo from the left for pinout.

  • I was able to power and drive a 5mm Diffused Addressable RGB LED https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12986 using a SparkFun 3.3v Arduino Pro Micro. However, I found that pins 5, 7, and the analog pins DO NOT WORK to drive this (at least with the Adafruit library). See more at http://forums.adafruit.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=61188

  • Could you please tell me what is the pin spacing and the pin diameter ?

    • pin spacing is .075" +- .005" (by eye) The legs bend easily enough to fit into a .1" breadboard, but will prevent a flush fit.

  • I figured out the problem with the DO signal. The Latch signal (50 usec low) is at the end of the data string, not between the 24-bit sequence for each LED. If you leave too much time (> ~5 usec) between 24-bit data, the 1st LED thinks it is at the end of the string and never passes the data through using DO. We need at ‘real’ datasheet with actual pinouts, timing diagrams, electrical characteristics for the DO line, etc!

  • I didn’t have any trouble getting the 1st LED in a string to work by bit-banging with a PIC, but I’m getting no signal from the DO pin. So, the 1st LED changes colors, but the subsequent LED’s in the daisy-change are blue (the start-up color). I tried disconnecting the 1st LED, pulling it up with a 1k resistor, but this just gives a DC voltage to rise from ground to ~2V. Maybe I have a defective batch? I tried switching other LED’s into the 1st position with the same result. I’m using the pinout that wawison described.

  • I ordered a bunch of these. It would be nice to get the pinout and lead diameter as well as the lead spacing so I can start laying out my board.


    • Yes- that IS a horrible datasheet. Anybody also have any idea on the max current draw?

  • Anyone have an eagle part for this? Just want to make sure I get the pinout right. Also, the data sheet image looks different than the picture. Which side is pin one?

  • How exactly does one program a strip of these to have specific LEDs show specific colors? The datasheet shows the Dout chained to the next Din but how do you make a specific color show for a specific LED?

    Any pointers to a usage guide?

    • Yeah, the DS that we have gotten from our supplier is not good at all. We are currently working on updating our WS2812 Hookup Guide by adding a section for these and the 8mm Addressable PTH LEDs. That way you should have all the instruction you need! :)

    • A buddy of mine posted an Instructable on it, http://www.instructables.com/id/Demystifying-4-pin-addressable-RGB-LEDS/ includes example code.

    • You can always check adafruit (they have these as ‘NeoPixels’) as they have a usage guide. But basically each led takes 24 bit color information (RGB) and you send out 24 bits x however many LEDs you have chained and the IC removes its color data and forwards the remaining to the next in line. There are very specific timings needed but its doable with arduinos.

  • Be good getting this with a clear lens.

    • Are you looking to project mixed light? The clear-lensed RGB LEDs I’ve seen so far tend to splay the different colors. Since each color comes from a different die, they can’t all be located in the center of the epoxy. So, on the clear RGB LEDs I’ve seen, one color will project straight, but the other two will be at a slight angle.

    • Search for COM-12999… they’re the clear variety.

  • Does anyone know if there is a variety of this LED in a 10mm diffused format?

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5

Based on 5 ratings:

5 star
4 star
3 star
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1 star

These are great.

I’ve long been looking for a frosted version that was also PTH. The color uniformity is spot on for the batch of 50 or so I bought. When you make your PCB footprint for these use an elongated pad with the smallest annular ring on the tight axis between pins. I got lots of solder bridges using circular only padstack.


Really easy to set up, following adafruit neopixle guide.

Datasheet doesn't really match parts shipped

The bag is marked “SJ-F5-2811-F” There are two long leads and two short leads, as shown in the photo. However, the data sheet has a different photo and it is unclear which is pin 1 on the shipped parts.

Wired it up assuming flat side was pin 1 but didn’t work, don’t want to burn out any more without being sure!

They work as described

I wish the pin layout were more usable. A 2 by 2 pinout - on .1" pitch - I would give it 6 stars


When I purchased some WS2812B 5050 SMD LEDs, I found that I needed to solder in a capacitor across power for each LED. I bought a bunch of these PTH and assumed that I also needed one so I just went straight to it. But do these require a capacitor or is one built into the IC? On another note, I love how easy these are to daisy chain and control! So much easier than trying to control a lot of single LEDs.

While the datasheet makes mention that no external hardware is required, to be safe, I would suggest you use the smoothing capacitor on the power and in line resistor on the data line as shown in this tutorial https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/ws2812-breakout-hookup-guide?_ga=1.248568967.1851504437.1417041706#hardware-hookup