What happens when you mix a little bit of red paint with some yellow? You end up with orange.
What if you could combine different colors of light? We took three flood lights, one red, one green and one blue, aimed them at a white brick wall and looked at the results. Click the picture to the right for a closer look. Where two beams overlapped, a different color was produced. Where all three beams overlapped in the center, we saw white. By varying the intensities of the red, green and blue lights, we ended up with different colors where the beams overlapped. Ends up you can create most any color the eye can see using this technique. The scientists call it additive because the colors are added together. The rest of the world calls it RGB (Red Green Blue) technology.
Some of the latest Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology puts the equivalent of a separate red, green and blue light sources into what looks like one bulb. By varying the intensities of the red, green and blue sources, the bulb appears to change color. They’re called RGB LEDs. Start thinking of the possibilities. Now you can create the final color by controlling the individual intensity of red, green and blue. That’s three control channels and it’s typically called a pixel. A dumb pixel light string or dumb pixel light ribbon means all the lights in that string or ribbon are always the same color.
Dumb pixels at work
This video shows eight (8) different dumb RGB ribbons outlining the windows, doors, gutter and stairs. Note the entire ribbon is the same color at ant time.
What if I want to control every single light on a string lights?
Is it possible to control each individual light in a LED based RGB pixel string or ribbon? Yes. They’re called smart pixel devices.