Cheap WS2812 LEDs: Another Failure

A few days after epoxying a replacement WS2812 RGB LED into the base of the 21HB5A and, en passant, soldering a 3.5 mm plug-and-jack into the plate lead for EZ removal, the top LED failed.

21HB5A - Audio plug cable

21HB5A – Audio plug cable

In this case, it also failed the Josh Sharpie test with bad encapsulation sealing:

WS2812 LED failure - ink test patterns

WS2812 LED failure – ink test patterns

Here’s a view from another angle, with a warm-white desk lamp for a bit of color:

WS2812 LED failure - ink test patterns - 2

WS2812 LED failure – ink test patterns – 2

Those patterns took a few days to appear and also showed up in some, but not all, of the previous failing LEDs.

Although I have no idea what’s going on, it’s certainly distinctive!

An envelope of RGBW LEDs, allegedly with SK2812 controllers, has arrived from a different eBay supplier, so it’s time for an upgrade.



  1. #1 by ewf on 2017-03-13 - 14:33

    What was the time frame for the failures?

    • #2 by Ed on 2017-03-13 - 20:52

      Pretty much as soon as I started using them, they started failing. Overall, about a year since I put the one that just failed atop that halogen and a few days for the one in that test fixture: there’s absolutely no way to predict the outcome.

      • #3 by ewf on 2017-03-14 - 20:27

        Not what wanted to hear … looks like I’ve got some rework to do before a make delivery.

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