Every pixel LED string comes with a strand of pixel LEDs. Most of the time, it's limited to about 50-pixel LEDs. However, you can connect pixel LED strings together to increase the number of pixel LEDs. If you connect two of them together, you have the equivalent of a pixel LED string with one hundred pixel LEDs.
The number of pixel LED strings that can be connected together is only limited by the number of pixel LEDs supported by the controller. Here is how to connect different types of pixel LED strings or strips together.
Connecting WS2811 Pixel LED Strings Together
WS2811 is a three-wire pixel LED string with a single data line. This pixel LED string uses the NRZ (Non-Return Zero) communication protocol. This pixel LED string comes in a waterproof housing. But it's not a good idea to use it outdoors in severe weather conditions. Stranded WS2811 pixel LED strings come with fifty pixel LEDs per string. However, you can increase this number by connecting pixel LED strings together.
Each end of the WS2811 pixel LED strings has SM3P connectors; one is male and the other is female.
The male SM3P connector is connected to the first pixel LED of the pixel LED string, and the female SM3P is connected to the last pixel LED of the string.
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First and Last Pixel LED
If you look at these pixel LED strings, it almost looks like they all connect in parallel. But this is not true. Only the power supply wires are connected in parallel. In this case, the data line was connected in series. The input data wire connects to the data pin of the IC, and the output data wire connects to the data out of the same IC. The common strand is the SM3P female connector connected to the first pixel LED of the string and the SM3P male connector connected to the last pixel of the pixel LED string.
But to know it, you have to look inside the WS2811 pixel LED housing of pixel LEDs at the end of the string. Where you can see an arrow pointing toward the next LED or to an SM3P connector. If the arrow is pointed towards the next LED in the string, that is the first pixel LED of that string. If the arrow is pointed towards the SM3P connector, that is the last pixel LED of the string.
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Connecting WS2811 Pixel LED Strings
When connecting pixel LED strings together, the last pixel LED of the previous pixel LED string should be connected to the first pixel LED of the next pixel LED string. To do so, connect the male SM3P connector of the previous pixel LED string to the female SM3P connector of the next pixel LED string. That's it. It's that simple. But there's one more thing left to do.
Supplying the Power
Although the power to these pixel LED strings is provided via the SM3P connector, the amount of current it can carry is limited due to the small gauge of the wire. This will cause the voltage to drop as more and more pixel LED strings are connected in the layout. That is why we have power input wires for each pixel LED string. You can input power through these power input wires for each pixel LED string by connecting these wires in parallel to the power supply. But you must use wires that can carry enough current for all the pixel LEDs in the pixel LED layout.