Sourcing LEDs these days

I’m looking to replace the WS 2812 setup that I’ve got currently with some high density Dotstar strip, and In my 15 minutes of looking, I’m finding that I can either pay $50/meter for Adafruit name brand, wait indefinitely for the $35/meter stuff from the electromage store on tindle, or I’ve found something like this on amazon:

It mentions that this a clone, but I’m thinking that it appears to be the same build as the stuff from electromage on tindle. I’d rather support the wizard, if i could, but it’s been sold out since April.

Has anyone utilized the cheaper clone SK9822 strips from amazon with PB? My device is a hand held pineapple, so it gets moved around constantly and dropped more often than I’d care to admit. My previous lighting array has proven to be quite robust and has survived for 5 years of music festivals. If there is a significant difference in build quality between the name brand and clone strips, I feel like I should buck up for the adafruit strips and rest easier.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

They should work OK - I’ve bought them.

IMO the SK9822s are as good (and for POV, better) than the APA102s.

They use a slightly smaller die internally, so there might be long-term durability / heating issues statistically speaking at continuous usage, but I haven’t noticed them failing perceivable faster.

Thanks. I ordered an extra meter or two - gonna see how many pixels I can stuff in this thing, and also thinking about wiring the top up. That will be a completely different phase though.

I’ve been having some fun experimenting adding sound reactive elements to existing patterns from the elecromage site. I went quiet on here for a while, and had run into an issue where my map had just…changed what was correct. I figured out a way to make it work recently and have found maybe a stride or something.

I really appreciate all of the help you’ve provided me. This device is really pretty amazing.

I don’t recommend adafruit unless you have no choice. Their custom stuff is good, everything else is marked up reselling and too high a price.

Of course ordering from Electromage is good, and usually fast.

Amazon is hit or miss… Good vendors like BTF and a handful of others and also some noname stuff. But Amazon’s return policy is (usually) awesome.

As for one type led over another, often newer is better, but not always. HD107s are supposed to be good, also HD108… But hard to find. Form factor matters, too. I found a nice vendor on Tindie of HD107s in small amounts, for example. There is another vendor there doing $10 for 100 (shipping is $20) but I can’t even tell if it’s a strip or individual LEDs.

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I’ve used the BTF SK9822s from Amazon for several projects that have been in daily use, and they’ve been great. BTF is certainly not the least expensive vendor, but they’ve been reliable, and as @scruffynerf mentioned, Amazon’s return policy is a real advantage. They replaced the one DOA strip I got within a couple of days, no cost, no questions.

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