The agony of choice - 5 volts or 12 volts pixels
The right choice between the two most common types of 5 volt or 12 volt pixels (for example, WS2812b/WS2811), epends on which controller you use and which project you want to realize with your pixels.
Basically, there are a few general rules:
- Long strings / chains (larger than 50 pixels) use less power when driven at 12 volts DC.
- Realizing long distances (between the controller and the first pixel) is easier with 12 Volt DC.
- 12 Volt DC power supplies are more expensive than 5 Volt DC power supplies.
- Some low-cost and self-built controllers only work with 5 volts DC.
- Some 12 volt DC pixels consume less power than conventional 5 volt DC pixels.
- Voltage drop and power feed are a problem for both types.
- 5 Volt DC pixels are more energy efficient than 12 Volt DC pixels.
- 5 volts DC pixels consume less power than 12 volts DC pixels.
- 5 Volt DC pixels are generally much cheaper than 12 Volt DC pixels.
As you can see a clear recommendation can not be given, it depends on the purpose and your personal preferences