Powering the WS2813

What's the main difference between the WS2812B and the WS2813?

The WS2813 is an updated version of the WS2812B, similar to how the WS2812B is an improved version of the WS2812. Like the WS2812B, it also has a control circuit and RGB chip integrated into a 5050 RGB LED and each LED can be individually controlled.

The most significant difference between the two LED strips is their LED bypass property. One of the biggest advantage that the WS2813 has over the WS2812B is that it is a dual-signal wires version, with signal break-point continuous transmission. That is, if an LED in the middle of the chain burns, the circuit remains closed and the other LEDs will still light up. As long as no other adjacent LEDs are broken, the remaining LEDs will continue to work normally. When one LED is broken or burnt in a WS2812B strip, the circuit is broken and the other LEDs after in the chain will not work.

This is because the WS1812B has only one data signal, and a broken LED would prevent the other LEDs from working. However, the WS2813 LED has 2 data signals which means that any pixel failure in the chain will not affect signal transfer unless 2 adjacent LEDs are damaged. If only one LED doesn’t work then it’s not so bad. The rest can continue flashing as usual while you contemplate repairs. As such, the WS2813 is the more dependable LED strip, making it a worthy upgrade LED strip for your next blinky project.

How to power WS2813 LED strips?

Similar to WS2812, WS2813 LED strips are also 5V. The main difference is that instead of having a single DATA line, WS2813 has two DATA lines DI and BI. Both of these lines can take the same input from your board, with BI being the backup. This means that if one of the driver ICs fail, BI will pass the data onto the next IC, achieving breakpoint transmission.

Although the correct way to power WS2813 is to connect the DATA line from your controller to both the DI and BI line on the WS2813, from my experience, the LED strip can be powered by either of these two lines.


If you are used to connecting to the 3-pin male JST connector on the WS2812/WS2812B, note that the direction of data/power flow is reversed on WS2813 and you will need to connect to the 4-pin female JST connector on the WS2813.

In terms of software/firmware, most of the popular LED libraries such as FastLED, Adafruit_NeoPixel, and WS2812FX support WS2813 natively.

More about WS2813

You can learn more about WS2813 LED strips by looking at their datasheets (Link, Link).