The WS2812 LED is a great device. But what if you wanted to use drive "normal" leds using the same approach?
You can buy WS2811 ICs, which are the same controller that is used inside the WS2812 LEDs and wire them up to your own LEDs.
But, unfortunately, the WS2811 ICs can only drive LEDs that pull 16mA of current. If you have devices that need more, you can't use the WS2811 directly.
The WS2811 expander gets around that limitation:
The expander takes the output form the WS2811 chip and uses it to drive hefty power MOSFETs, one for each channel (red, green, blue). The board has been validated at 4 amps continuous across all three outputs and 8 amps continuous with a single channel driven. At 12V, that will give you 3 channels at 50 watts per channel or 1 channel at 100 watts per channel. It *may* be able to do more though you would want to check for heat dissipation and it is not warranted about these levels.
You may solder directly to the board or use headers (not included). The signal headers use standard 0.1" (2.54mm) spacing while the power/LED headers use 0.156" (3.96mm) spacing. The voltage selection section also uses 0.1" spacing.
The expander is compatible with any device that can control WS2812 LEDs. Multiple expanders can be chained together.
To purchase, visit my site on Tindie.
Here's a video of the Expander dimming three 50 watt 12 volt light bulbs: