Simplified realisation of intelligent LED control

28th March 2024
Kristian McCann

Würth Elektronik has introduced WL-ICLED, a novel series of RGB LEDs with an integrated controller (IC). These components, which can be controlled as individual pixels, combine red, green, and blue LEDs with a programmable controller IC, allowing for intelligent, individual control over both pixel colour and brightness levels, ranging from 0 to 100%.

The new RGB LEDs enable the setting of over 16 million distinct colour and brightness combinations. They are compatible with open-source libraries like FastLED. Owing to the reduced need for additional components such as series resistors, display solutions utilising these intelligent LEDs are not only faster to implement but also more compact than traditional solutions employing separate LEDs. Potential applications span signal control systems, full-colour matrix displays, audio and gaming systems, indoor lighting, and displays at e-mobility charging stations. Available designs now include: 2020 Chip LED compact, 3210 Chip LED Side View, 2121 PLCC6 with bypass, and 5050 PLCC4.

Moisture protection

Differing from similar market offerings, Würth Elektronik's intelligent LEDs boast an MSL3 moisture sensitivity level, rendering them less susceptible to moisture during assembly, in contrast to the more common MSL5a or MSL6 levels. Certain models adhere to the IPx7 protection class, allowing for short-term submersion without incurring damage. A standout feature of the LED chipsets is their gold coating on the ‘Chip LED’ variants and silver coating on PLCC models, enhancing solderability. The intelligent LEDs are available in both 8-bit and 12-bit versions, providing greater versatility in PWM resolution.

Standardised qualification

All models within this product group come with photobiological test reports aligned with EN 62471:2008 and IEC 62471:2006 standards, a detail of significance when these intelligent LEDs are utilised in toys. While not aimed at the automotive market, Würth Elektronik conducted tests and qualifications in accordance with AEC Q102-003 standards, ensuring customers have access to objectively comparable specifications.

The LEDs with integrated controllers are currently available for order directly from stock, with no minimum order quantity. Developers can also request free samples.

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