- Terminology - What exactly is a node - is it the 8mm tricolor LED or one RGB light in a string irregardless of it's physical form factor? What is exactly a pixel - is an individually controlled RGB light or is it just a light that is RGB?
- Wiring standards - Why does one vendor use black for "common anode" and another uses yellow? Why does one vendor use blue for the data signal and another vendor uses yellow?
- Interconnect / Plugs - What about wiring with waterproof connectors - what is the dimensions and pin outs? There are half a dozen different methods for wiring DMX + Power over CAT5 alone.
- Pixel protocols - What is better 2801, 6803, 1804?
- Voltages - Is 5v better than 12v for RGB lights?
- DMX output - Is E1.31 better or is using just a straight dongle for DMX output?
- Dimensions - Modules, nodes, strip and other forms of RGB lighting often come in varying dimensions. Heck, even some vendors vary it from production run to production run. The days of a standard mini light or C7/C9 seem to be over! Is the spacing on a string going to be 3", 3.5" or maybe it will vary in the same string.
What does this mean for you? First, it means you'll need to work a little harder and completely understand the pros and cons for each product or solution. It also makes it hard to compare and contrast one vendor to another as there are no specific standards for products.
When I produced the widely viewed RGB video series in 2010, I struggled over a number of issues, namely what terminology to use and with the assistance of a number of prompent people at the time. We were able to produce a naming solution that is now documented in our Knowledge Base. While our terms might be the same or different than other vendors, we try to make it as clear as possible what we are refering to throughout our website and product descriptions.
I'd like to hear from you (see below) what your frustrations have been while navigating the world of RGB and what suggestions you might have for vendors to make it easier for you to understand this new world.