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RGB Controllers and Remotes Buyer's Guide

The RGB Controllers and Remotes Buyer's Guide from LED Montreal will help you choose the best RGB controller according to your needs.

 

Meaning of RGB
The RGB color model (RGB) stands for Red-Green-Blue, in which the three basic colors are added together in various ways to reproduce different colors from which you can choose on your remote. Red, Green and Blue can range in intensity and can be combined to obtain any colors in the color’s spectrum. You may also see information relating to “Multi Color” which is another term for RGB.

Types of RGB Controllers and Remotes
Besides the wired controller that has no remote, RGB controllers come in two types of communication protocol between the remote and the controller. 
1.    IR (Infra Red) is the most economical remote / controller communication protocol available. It has a short range (about 5m) and the remote needs to be in direct line with a sensor. 
2.    RF (Radio Frequency) is a more practical and evolved protocol. It has a range of up to 30m and allows the user to hide their controller as the remote does not need to be in line of sight of the controller.
 
Controller capacity
The capacity of your controller is another thing you will want to take into consideration. Low priced controllers will have a limit of 6 Amps which limit you in the amount of LED Strips that you can hook up to your controller. For example, you would not be able to hook up 20 meters of LED to a controller that can only support 6A.

Here is a quick breakdown of what you can achieve, depending on amperage and voltage (make sure that your power supply matches the required power for your set up):

12 Volts
6A: up to 10 meters of RGB 150 or up to 5 meters of RGB 300
12A and more: up to 20 meters of RGB 150 or up to 10 meters of RGB 300. You cannot achieve longer lengths on 12V, even if your controller has more capacity. If your project requires more than 20m of Strips, use the Multi Zone system.

24 Volts
6A : up to 20 meters of RGB 150 or up to 10 meters of RGB 300
12A and more: up to 20 meters of RGB 150 or up to 20 meters of RGB 300. You cannot achieve longer lengths on 24V, even if your controller has more capacity. If your project requires more than 20m of Strips, use the Multi Zone system.

Although most controller/remote kits will give you a direct access to your color, you will also find kits where you will have to cycle through the colors to get to the one of your choice. Those are referred to as sequential kits.

All controllers, regardless of price, capacity or communication protocol will offer a dimming function and various automated color change modes. We encourage you to visit the product page of the controller that interests you for more details.

Here’s a quick reference guide that points out the main features of the RGB controllers available on www.ledmontreal.com

Wired Controller
Working voltage: 12V
Capacity: 6A
Color access: Sequential
Available colors: 16
Wired controller


IR controllers:

24 Key Remote and Controller for RGB LED Strips
Working voltage: 12V
Capacity: 6A
Color Access: Direct
Available colors: 16
Key features: a very popular model for starters as it is affordable and easy to operate.
24 Key Remote and Controller for RGB LED Strips

44 Key Remote and Controller for RGB LED Strips
Working voltage: 12V and 24V
Capacity: 6A
Color Access: Direct
Available colors: 16 + you can DIY (Do It Yourself) your own colors
Key features: allows the user to adjust Red, Green and Blue levels to create and save custom colors
44 Key Remote and Controller for RGB LED Strips

Sound Controller for RGB LED Strips
Working voltage: 12V and 24V
Capacity: 12A
Color Access: Direct
Available colors: 16
Key features: Has a music function that controls the color changes in sync with music. Can also be used as a standard controller.
Sound Controller for RGB LED Strips


RF Controllers:

10 Key RF Remote and Controller for RGB LED Strips
Working voltage: 12V and 24V
Capacity: 12A
Color Access: Sequential
Available colors: 20
Key features: Compact and efficient, simple to operate, an amazing value for $19.95
10 Key RF Remote and Controller for RGB LED Strips

RF Advanced Touch Sound Controller and Remote for RGB LED Strips
Working voltage: 12V and 24V
Capacity: 18A
Color Access: Direct
Available colors: 256
Key features: Remote comes with a convenient cradle. Has a 3.5mm input for music control. Features a music function that controls the color changes in sync with music. Can also be used as a standard controller.
RF Advanced Touch Sound Controller and Remote for RGB LED Strips

Multi Zone RF Controller
Working voltage: 12V and 24V
Capacity: 18A
Color Access: Direct
Available colors: 256
Key features: You can match unlimited controllers to this remote and divide your set up in up to 4 zones. If you require a length greater than 20m, match multiple controllers to the same zone and they will all change colors together as if this was one set up. You can also control this kit through your Smartphone or tablet with our Wi-Fi controller.
Multi Zone RF Controller

 

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