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The APA102 is an addressable RGB LED that can be daisy-chained with other LEDs of the same type to create an LED strip.


APA102 Pinout Configuration 

Pin Number

Pin Name

Pin Description



Power input (5V typical)



Serial clock output



Serial data output



Serial data input



Serial clock input



IC ground reference


Features and Specifications

  • Positive and negative output
  • 8-bit (256 level) colour, 5-bit (32 level) brightness
  • Built-in 20mA constant current source


Note: Complete technical details can be found in the APA102 datasheet linked at the end of this page.


APA102 Equivalents

SK9822, WS2812B


How To Use APA102

The APA102 is an addressable RGB LED. It communicates using a serial interface that can be daisy-chained with other LEDs to create an RGB strip.

The input voltage is typically 5V, and each colour can consume up to 20mA at full brightness, meaning that when all three colours are turned on fully, current consumption can be up to 60mA. To daisy-chain the LEDs, the CKO and SDO of one LED must be connected to the CKI and SDI of the second LED respectively, as shown in the circuit diagram below. It is also good practice to include decoupling capacitors near the VCC pin of each LED.

APA102 Circuit Diagram

Communication with the serial interface is easy to implement with a microcontroller. The LED accepts a 32 bit input code, with three bytes for R, G, and B colour, 5 bits for global brightness, and three blank ‘1’ bits. The data format is shown in the figure below.

APA102 RGB LED Data Format

There are a lot of libraries available for communication with addressable LEDs which can be used.



  • LED lamps
  • Large LED screens
  • Billboards


2D Model and Dimensions

If you are designing a PCB or Perf board with this component, then the following picture from the Datasheet will be useful to know its package type and dimensions.

APA102 RGB LED Dimensions

Component Datasheet

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