I want to use NeoPixel LED strips in my projects, but I am having a hard time getting clear answers from the documentation. The data sheet for WS2812, for example, has some typos. And the documentation lists several conflicting thresholds for supported voltages.
First, what is the minimum voltage to power the LED strip (5V, 3.7V, 4.2V, 6V)?
Do I need a 1000 uF capacitor?
Do I need a resistor for the DIN connection (300 Ohm, 470 Ohm, 500 Ohm)?
Are resistors reversible?
I am interested in controlling the strip from a 3.3V microcontroller without using a leveller. There are reports of this working online, in a few different ways.
Some people describe using the first LED on the strip as a voltage leveler. But doesn't that still require something to level the signal to the first LED?
Some mention a "diode" can be used instead of a leveller. What kind of diode exactly?
If I power an Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V microcontroller with 4.2V to the RAW pin, does that raise the high bit voltage output on the GPIO pins enough to communicate effectively with WS2812 family LED strips without requiring logic level controllers?
The same question asked another way: Is GPIO high bit voltage out constant with respect to the the built-in RAW voltage regulator?
As we raise RAW voltage input, which threshold arrives first: breaking 3.3V communication with peripherals, or smoking the MCU from RAW voltage?
Does the MCU RAW voltage trick work well with other peripherals? Or should I give in and get a leveller?
What kind of leveller exactly for a NeoPixel strip? Because someone online said I was choosing the wrong levellers.