RGB LED 'OWire' - 2 Pin PTH 4mm Concave

Have you ever seen those strings of fairy lights, or pre-lit Christmas trees, that change colors with a little remote? Have you ever noticed that they only have two wires? How do they do that? Well it turns out that this is how: Special LEDs!

These 4mm LEDs are like a compromise between color cycling LEDs and fully addressable LEDs. While you aren't able to individually address each LED in the chain, you can change the color and mode of all LEDs in the chain. We call these "OWire" LEDs because there's no "signal" wire, just power and ground. In order to change modes you wiggle the power LED in a 7-bit pattern depending on the mode/color you want. Don't worry, we've written an Arduino library! A single LED will run just fine from a GPIO pin, but if you want to put a lot of LEDs in parallel, you'll want to use a MOSFET to signal the power rail. Check the documents for an example schematic.

  • 4mm PTH LED with Concave Lens
  • 2 Pins
  • Forward Voltage: 3.2VDC
  • 8 Modes and 7 colors (plus color combos)

RGB LED 'OWire' - 2 Pin PTH 4mm Concave Product Help and Resources

Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

August 12, 2013

Learn the basics about LEDs as well as some more advanced topics to help you calculate requirements for projects containing many LEDs.


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #1886160 / about a month ago / 1

    These do not work! No support. A SCAM, STAY AWAY FROM THESE!

  • Member #1886160 / about 3 months ago * / 1

    Hi, how do I hook this up to the Arduino? GND and PIN 3 as per example?

  • Member #797661 / about 2 years ago / 1

    The absolute maximum rating for forward current in the datasheet is 13mA, but the rating for forward voltage was done with a test forward current of 14mA. What's up with that? Surely the abs. max. rating would be higher than the test condition, no?

  • Whoa. Interesting design and shape. o.O

  • yspacelabs / about 2 years ago / 1

    I've never heard of these before. Sounds like something that could be used for something, but I don't really know what. There is also a typo: the word "in" is repeated 2 times in "you wiggle the power LED in in a 7-bit pattern".

    • Juno Presken / about 2 years ago / 1

      I think Nate or Nick was suggesting that it'd make a great drop-in replacement for a through-hole status LED. Swap out your boring old single-color status LED, write a bit of code, and bam! Now your project can display 7 different colors to indicate status! You can even add a bit of polish to your project by making the status LED blink or breathe without taking up any precious cycles playing with PWM!

    • Nice catch, fixed!

Customer Reviews

No reviews yet.