My project for Burning Man this year (and two years ago) was a 20’ art car with 14 pins worth of led strips (most with 139 lights per strip). That was a total of 1645 lights, but my LED Array was more like 3528 (my longest strip * 14 strips). All of the lights were controlled by a single teensy through a board I milled on my Othermill.
Most of the lights were IP67 (silicon sheathed) ws2812 wrapped over a series of pvc tubes. Many of the light strips broke in transit (coming back from BM2013, going to BM2015, likely coming back from BM15). The place where they solder together two strands to make a longer one is always the weak point.
Anyway I’m using the 16-way parallel stuff and I’m pretty happy with the performance, but obviously would always like stuff to be faster. I’m about to buy a bunch of IP65 (glue coated) lights to replac the silicone sheathed ones (assuming that they’ll be sturdier.
I can either upgrade to APA102 or stick with WS2812. Will the APA102 lights be significantly faster/more efficient than a 16-strip parallel ws2812?
It would obviously be cheaper and easier to stick with the ws2812’s, but I don’t want to invest in the past…