Need help getting lights to work

Have a set of outdoor string lights and trying to use WLED, but having a hard time. I’ve tried selecting WS2811 and just white light is on and can’t even dim. In fact noticed the power doesn’t even turn the lights off. Odd part is I got green working but not of the other colors using TM1814, which is odd because chip says WS2811. Any thoughts Pic attached of the lights.


so with WS2811 configured I noticed a slider called “White Channel” so I moved it all the way the other direction and the white (LEDS turned off), and colors now work fine until I go to effects. Any effect I select the white LED’s stay on washing out the colors… Pic attached of the white bar I was talking about


Use auto-white calculation mode.

Will give that a shot and see if that works. Thanks!

When configure with WS281x there is no option “auto-white calculation mode”. When I select something like TM1814 there is an option at the bottom of the page called (auto-white calculation mode).

How many pins / wires does the thing have? And are they clearly labeled? I’m wondering if you are on a pwm pin to control white and not the actual data pin.

I don’t have a lot of experience with WS2811. But I’ve never seen them control white too.

Have you tried SK6812? Pretty certain those communicate the same as WS281x, but because they have optional white, “Auto-white calculation mode” may be an option.

I’m suspicious of what we’re dealing with here as well.
To me, the photo clearly shows 3xRGB LED’s, a WS2811 controller, and a MOSFET power driver for 4xWhite LED’s

Depending on the input lines I see 2 scenarios:

4 Lines - V+, Gnd, Data IN, White control.
This would be a “standard” WS281x strip in parallel with a PWM White string.

3 Lines - V+, Gnd, Data IN
More complicated, the RGB LED’s could be in series with the WS2811 which controls the White LED’s (probably all 4 together) to “add the white channel”.

The TM1814 protocol is designed with the 2nd scenario in mind (looking at the comments in the NeoPixelBus forums) although it may apply across the entire strip rather than on a node by node basis.

Just my best guesses based on what we’ve seen so far…

WS2811 is essentially the same as WS2812 except that the chip is external to LEDs.

@divsys may have a point here.

Yeah it’s three wire…

Do you have a multimeter you could use to check some connections?
It would be worthwhile knowing if the WS2811 connects to the LED’s or the mosfet driver.
I just had another thought, is there anything on the backside of that board?

I do have a multi meter and there is no chips on the bottom of the board everything on the top.

Took the chip off and there are a few things on the back as well… Attaching pics of the back of the chip…

Ok, that starts to make a little more sense (I think).
I’m guessing you “sacrificed” the last node in your string as it appears to have Data In but no Data Out (although the pad is there).
Have you mentioned whether these are 5V or 12V strings?

As far as reverse engineering the board circuit, here’s the components were dealing with:

MOSFET to handle the current drive for the White LED’s

3 pieces of “dumb” RGB LED’s, I’m guessing they’re setup in series(?) on the WS2811 driver pins.

2 of these, I’m guessing one drives the RGB LED’s and the other uses one channel of R,G,B(???) to drive the White LED’s through the MOSFET.

So go ahead and see what you can find out!

I would suggest you verify the power lines first, Veeery likely Black is GND and Red is V+, but worthwhile verifying. Check that Black goes to pin 4 on both WS2811’s and Red to pin 8 (maybe through a small resistor 51R0?)

Next the “data path”, check the Data In line (white wire on the back of the board) should go to one or other of the WS2811’s DIN pin 6. It maybe through a small resistor (51R0 ?). The DO pin 5 of that WS2811 should then go to DIN pin 6 of the other WS2811. That 2nd WS chip’s DO pin 5 should go to the unused Data Out pad on the back of the board (to the left of the White wire in your last photo).

Next will be figure out which chip controls which LED’s. We’ll call the first WS2811 in the data chain WS1 and the other WS2. Check the RGB pins individually on WS1 or WS2 for connection to the Gate pin on the MOSFET, Q1. Again it maybe through a resistor or possibly not. Once you’ve found it, this WSx will be the White driver chip and the channel (R,G,or B) will be the one you set for white brightness.

The other WSx chip should connect to the 3 RGB LED’s which should be in series(?) on the output pins.

Give it a try and see what you find (we’d love to know).


Sorry forgot to add they are 12v and yeah sacrificed the last light in the string. They are Govee and their controller sucks which is why I’m trying to get WLED working with them.

The Govee lights I’m using are -