Getting smart LED strip lights for your home is always an excellent way to set the mood and make your rooms as comfortable as possible. However, when you’re trying to buy these devices, you may face a bit of a dilemma because there are so many options on the market to choose from.
Aside from picking out the right lengths, there may also be some terms you may be unfamiliar with when picking out LED light strips for your home. Many homeowners have trouble distinguishing between the terms RGB, RGBIC, RGBWW, and other confusing strings of letters attached to these devices.
If you’re wondering about the differences between these terms, worry not. In this article, we’ve broken down these terms for you to understand what would best fit your needs and preferences. To avoid shelling out your hard-earned money for the wrong product, read on to learn more.
RGB Vs. RGBIC: What Are The Differences?
RGB and RGBIC LED strip lights can both be fun additions to your home, as they can bring a unique vibe to any room you install them in. You can change their colors as you please, from warmer hues to cooler tones. This is a common installation in gaming rooms, living spaces, bathrooms, and bedrooms. It is excellent for relaxation and giving a contemporary feel to your space.
RGB and RGBIC are two common forms of LED strip lights that share a similar purpose but have some notably different properties. Let’s discuss each of these terms below.
RGB LED Strip Lights
RGB stands for red, green, and blue, which are the three primary colors of the additive color system. These three colors can mix to generate more than 16 million unique colors, but not all of these colors are possible to produce on LED lights.
RGB LED strip lights make use of 3-in-1 LED chips to produce combinations of these primary colors, but the whole strip can only show one color at a time. Because of the limitation of not being able to change the colors of individual LED chips, RGB LED lights are sometimes also referred to as non-addressable RGB LED lights.
RGBIC LED Strip Lights
What is RGBIC, anyway? While we have already discussed what RGB means, the “IC” part of this term is short for “independent control.” This product is the result of modern advancements in RGB light technology.
In essence, an RGBIC LED strip light can also produce the same variety of colors as an RGB one, but the difference here is that each individual LED chip on the strip can show a different color than the rest.
In RGBIC LED strip lights, you can address each chip to turn on, shift its brightness, or change color. Because of this function, they are sometimes called addressable RGB LED lights.
Currently, the independent control technology in LED strip lights is trademarked by the company Govee. So, Govee color LED lights are the only RGBIC LED strip lights available in the market.
RGB Vs. RGBIC: Notable Points Of Comparison
Here are some notable differences between RGB and RGBIC LED strip lights:
- Lighting Effects: When it comes to lighting effects, RGBIC LED strip lights are far more versatile than their RGB counterparts. This is because the independent control technology allows each chip to shine differently from others. As a result, one side of the strip can be red while the other side shines blue at the same time. You can also make gradients, rainbow colors, flowing effects, and other cool effects with RGBIC lights. They can also sync up to your music.
- Cost: One advantage of RGB LED strip lights is that they cost significantly less than RGBIC products. This is because their functions are very basic and more limited. Although the price difference between single strips may not be too far, the cost can easily add up.
- Brightness: RGBIC LED strip lights typically shine brighter than their RGB counterparts. However, you can adjust their brightness to fit your preferences.
- Mobile App Control: Both RGB and RGBIC LED strip lights can be controlled remotely via various means. However, RGBIC lights are typically more dependent on mobile apps. These applications allow for full control over the colors and effects that it shows.
What Are RGBW LED Strip Lights?
RGBW LED light strips use 4-in-1 LED chips in contrast to RGB light strips that use 3-in-1 chips. This is because RGBW stands for RGB + white. This extra white chip brings a purer white tone to illuminate a room, and it typically brings brighter, more refined colors. However, RGBW lights are usually more expensive than typical RGB strip lights.
What Are RGBWW LED Strip Lights?
RGBWW LED strip lights are a step above RGBW lights. These ones have a warm white light unit in their chips to provide a softer, less intense yellow-white light. This type of LED strip light is excellent for making a room feel cozy and inviting. It’s also great for bedrooms because the brightness of the warm white light will not keep you up. Again, this type of light is usually more expensive than RGB and RGBW LED strip lights because of the extra bulbs and features.
Can You Cut RGB Strip Lights?
One great aspect about RGB LED strip lights is that you can cut them shorter, and the lights will still turn on without any problem. These strip lights typically have markings at the back that indicate where you can cut them.
Being able to cut RGB strip lights is a bonus because you have more options on where to place them. You can stick them in tight corners, hidden surfaces, and many more places wherein a continuous strip may not be ideal.
Can You Cut RGBIC Strip Lights?
RGBIC LED strip lights can show beautiful effects and colors because of their independent control chips, but these IC chips also come with some limitations. For instance, because these IC chips are designed to manage a particular number of bulbs, you cannot cut the strip lights. The whole strip will malfunction and no longer work if you do.
Because you cannot cut RGBIC strip lights, your options for installing it may be more limited. You will have to find an area wherein a continuous strip can stick and will not look out of place.
Is It Better To Get RGBIC Lights Or RGB Lights?
Given the differences between RGBIC and RGB LED strip lights, which is better to buy? The fact of the matter is that the answer to this is not as straightforward as it may seem. This is because the one you must buy should match your home’s needs and your preferences.
So, when should you get RGBIC or RGB LED strip lights? Here are some aspects to consider before your purchase:
- Your Budget: As previously mentioned, RGBIC LED strip lights are typically more expensive than their standard RGB counterparts. The costs can add up if you need to buy multiple strips. So, if you are working on a tight budget, you may need to stick to RGB strip lights.
- The Effects You Need: If you do not need the showy effects and brightness that RGBIC strip lights are famous for, then you might be better off with RGB lights.
- Mobile App Functionality: RGBIC lights are usually more dependent on mobile apps to achieve maximum performance. If you do not have a compatible mobile phone or are not tech-savvy enough for these applications, RGB lights may be the more intuitive choice.
- Your Space: Depending on your space, you may need to get creative with the placement of your smart strip lights. If you need more customizability, then RGB lights are better to get. On the other hand, RGBIC lights are better for larger spaces wherein you can fit continuous LED strips.
Recommended RGBIC Strip Lights
Govee has trademarked IC chip technology, so the options for RGBIC strip lights are quite limited. Still, the company makes powerful and advanced devices that can make your home cozier. Here’s our top pick for this category:
Govee RGBIC Strip Lights
Govee DreamColor RGBIC Strip Lights are amazing devices if you want the best effects for your home. They offer extensive customization and can even sync up their effects with your favorite music. You can even have a party in your room and adjust the lights even without lifting a finger because of their compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Home!
Recommended RGB Strip Lights
If you favor affordability and customizability, here are some top-rated RGB strip lights we can vouch for:
Govee RGB LED Strip Lights
Govee isn’t just known for RGBIC lights, as the Govee RGB LED Strip Lights is also a leading product of theirs. This device provides RGB and 16 other colors for you to choose from. They’re customizable, easy to install, and have adjustable brightness to boot.
Sylwin LED Strip Lights
Sylwin LED Strip Lights are powerful lights that let you transform your home’s environment. They have extra strong adhesives and are cuttable, making installation a breeze. They also memorize the last mode you choose, so you can turn them off and on without having to change the colors and brightness every time.
Choosing between RGB and RGBIC LED strip lights is often a challenging choice for homeowners because they often are confused about the real difference between these options. However, now that you’ve read this guide, you’re now better equipped to make the best choice for your home!