What’s the Difference Between RGB vs. DRGB Strip Lights?

So, you need LED lighting. But as soon as you started shopping around, you probably noticed a lot of acronyms  (and weren’t quite sure the differences between them all).

When picking out the best strip light for your application, it mostly boils down to one thing: what is the look and feel you’re hoping to achieve? 
To help you determine what will work best for your project, let’s explore what you can do with red, green, blue (RGB) and digital red, green, blue (DRGB) strip lights.

What is RGB?

RGB and red, green, blue, white (RGBW) strip lights are the most commonly used LED strip lights and appear in a wide range of applications, including coves and halos. These strips are made up of LEDs with synced diodes. That means that you control all of your lights at the same time. 

For example, if you set your light to red, your entire strip will be red. And if you set it to green, you guessed it — it’ll all be green. And the same goes for motion. If you set your strip to blink, the entire strip will synchronize and blink at the same time.


What is DRGB?

DRGB strip lights contain control circuitry that allows you to control individual segments of your tape. At Nova Flex, our DRGB strip lights allow you to control 5-inch segments. This allows you to change colors and simulations to create a marquee effect, meteor effect, kaleidoscopic effect, sparkling effect, and anything else you can imagine to imitate movement.


When to use RBG vs. DRGB

Now that we’ve covered what RGB and DRGB do, you’re probably wondering which one is best for your project.

Static color and simple motion

Need static lighting, or just looking to incorporate simple motion? RGB is likely the best choice for you.

To achieve simple motion, you can program each RGB strip light to perform differently. For example, you can set each strip to a specific color to achieve color variation. You can also program each strip separately to create simple motion. Just keep in mind that you’ll never be able to create dramatic motion or color variations with an RGB strip light.

Color variations and complex motion

DRGB gives you the option to incorporate complex motion using a wide range of colors.

The important thing to remember with DRGB is that because they’re capable of doing more than standard RGB strip lights, they also cost more and require more complex programming and controllers. That means you’ll want to make sure that you truly need the capabilities of DRGB before investing.

For example, even if you want your DRGB to perform like an RGB strip light (with solid color throughout), it will still take just as long to program it to be a solid color as it would take to make every 5-inch segment a different color. And should a storm or unseen event come along and mess with your technology, you’ll have to do all of that programming again. 

Need the motion and color capabilities of DRGB but worried about the skill requirement and time investment to program it? Many controllers now come with popular pre-programmed sequences to help streamline your setup process.

We’ll Help You Get What You Need

Whether you’re going for standard lighting, or looking to dazzle bystanders with motion and color, Nova Flex can help you get the strip lights you need to get the right look for your project. 

Ready to get started on your next lighting project?