Control ICs in small LED devices


Nov 3, 2009
Ottawa Ont. Canada
I am wondering if anyone here has insight into the identity of small control ICs found in low-cost LED devices such as RGB LED strips, work lights etc. This would include vendors and specific part numbers/families. Commonly they are 8-pin SOICs with no markings, either made that way or markings later removed.

COB chips mounted right on the PCB and blobbed with epoxy are usually not marked. There's a limit to what can be done with these products. It usually involves visual inspection and probing with DMM/scope. In one case I was able to bring out a PWM signal from a cheap low-powered LED light, into the driver of a 12v high-power light, giving it some brightness control.

I wonder if these are mainly hardwired ICs; or perhaps (some) flash-based micro-controllers? I imagine for the latter they would be one-time programmable (OTP) anyways.

No illusions here about hacking uC code even if it could be done. My interest is in possible minor useful mods. This was successfully done with a small battery-powered LED desk lamp where IC (SGL8022W) was marked and a readable english datasheet was found.

Some ICs in very small (SOT) packages have "pseudo" part numbers marked, which are difficult to trace, even if you know (or can guess) the vendor.

ICs used in solar garden lighting, typically 4-pin transistor packages or 8-pin DIPs (older), are usually marked and can find datasheets online. Text is mostly in Chinese but doc has pinout, block diagram, typical circuit(s) and a few electrical specs, enough to get by on. In one case I was able to increase LED brightness by changing an inductor.



Flashlight Enthusiast
Mar 17, 2001
dayton oh
some are a common asic made just for flashlights.
many of the nameless faceless soic-8 are penny micros and are indeed otp.


Newly Enlightened
Apr 13, 2020
I think you would be very hard pressed to find an OTP microcontroller any more. Flash memory is dirty cheap. Most can be programmed at least 100 times, some officially less, but practically more.