There are two basic kinds of LED strips, the "analog" kind and "digital" kind. Analog-type strips have all the LEDs connected in parallel and so it acts like one huge tri-color LED; you can set the entire strip to any color you want, but you can't control the individual LED's colors. They are very very easy to use and fairly inexpensive.
The Digital-type strips work in a different way. They have a chip for each LED, to use the strip you have to send digitally coded data to the chips. However, this means you can control each LED individually! Because of the extra complexity of the chip, they are more expensive.
You can buy waterproof analog-type RGB LED strips by the meter at the Adafruit shop!
- 10.5mm (0.41") wide, 3mm (0.12") thick, 100mm (3.95") long per segment
- Clear waterproof molded
- 3M adhesive strip on back
- Maximum 12V @ 60mA draw per strip segment
- 3 common-anode RGB LEDs per segment
- LED wavelengths: 630nm/530nm/475nm
- No microcontroller or chip controller ('analog' only!)
- (We're working on getting an English datasheet from the manufacturer!)