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Forget about DIY LED drivers with mosfet transistors! It is extremly simple to drive high powered LED-strips with Arduino at low cost without getting into too much circuitry. The secret is cheap mini LED Amplifiers.

This instructable is just about driving LED strips. If you want to see an application, see this Instructable: Arduino Helipad for mini Quad Copter

*** A word of warning - some people have had problems with overloaded/fried Arduinos using this instructable. Please read the comments before deciding to try it for yourself. If you come up with a more robust twist to the project, please comment below! ***

Step 1: Background and Circuits

See pictures for three circuit examples. The first picture reflects the implementation in this Instructable. The second circuit is for two RGB strips (uses all 6 PWM out on the Nano). The third circuit is for six single color strips (all Nano PWMs). Each mini LED amp can put out up to 12 amps. You can put more in parallell or at the end of a strip light as many meters of strip you want, provided you have a good 12v power source.

Each LED "pixel" on a strip consists of three light emitting diodes (LED). Most LED Strips are common anode. This means that the positive end of the diodes are connected at +12v at both ends of the strip. Connect +12v to the anode and 0v to B, R, G to light each circuit up. Single color strips and RGB look the same to the naked eye. Even single color strips have copper connectors which are labeled +12v, B, R and G even though all LED's are the same color.

LED Amplifiers/Repeaters are sometimes called RGB amps. Don't let that fool you. They work just as well for single color strips. A LED Amp is fed by 12v and has inputs/outputs labeled +12v, B, R and G just like the strips. The inteded use of the device is to take the input voltage potential, which can be considerably lower than 12v at the end of a long strip, and boost it back to 12v by feeding more power. I have discovered that a 5v voltage difference on the input is enough to get the LED amp to boost the signal to 12v on the output which means that we can toggle the Amp 12v outputs by means of Arduino digital pins. Arduino digital outputs operate at 0 or +5v.

The circuits connect 5v out on the Arduino to 12v on the LED Amp input (common anode). This may seem wierd. I'll try to make some sense of it. The R, B, G inputs of the amp are attached to Arduino digital out. Setting a pin to 0 creates a 5v potential to the common anode which will result on a 12v potential on the corresponding output which will light up the LED. In other words, a digital 0 turns the light on. A digital 1 turns it off. Or, when using PWM duty cycles, 255 is off and 0 is on.

Step 2: What You Need

Go shopping (probably ebay) for:
  1. 5050 SMD LED Strip
  2. Mini LED amplifier/repeater(s)
  3. Arduino Nano (or other preference)

Step 3: Wire It Up

Wire the Arduino to the input and theLED strip to the output of the LED Amp seen in the picture. You can power the Arduino from +5v or +12v (not some versions of Arduino. Check the spec). Your choice.

Step 4: The Software

Download Arduino IDE from http://arduino.cc/en/main/software and flash the following sketch to try it out. The sketch was used on the RGB strip as seen in clip in step 5. It fades each color up/down then white up/down.

int ledPinR = 3;
int ledPinG = 5;
int ledPinB = 6;

void setup()  { 
} 

/* Note:
When driving LED's using common anode LED AMP's you have to inverse the duty cycle,
i. e. 255 is off and 0 is full power.
*/

void loop()  { 
  // Red
  for(int fadeValue = 255 ; fadeValue >= 0; fadeValue -=5) { 
    analogWrite(ledPinR, fadeValue);         
    delay(30);                            
  }
  for(int fadeValue = 0 ; fadeValue <= 255; fadeValue +=5) { 
    analogWrite(ledPinR, fadeValue);         
    delay(30);
  } 
  // Green
  for(int fadeValue = 255 ; fadeValue >= 0; fadeValue -=5) { 
    analogWrite(ledPinG, fadeValue);         
    delay(30);                            
  } 
  for(int fadeValue = 0 ; fadeValue <= 255; fadeValue +=5) { 
    analogWrite(ledPinG, fadeValue);         
    delay(30);
  } 
  // Blue
  for(int fadeValue = 255 ; fadeValue >= 0; fadeValue -=5) { 
    analogWrite(ledPinB, fadeValue);         
    delay(30);                            
  } 
  for(int fadeValue = 0 ; fadeValue <= 255; fadeValue +=5) { 
    analogWrite(ledPinB, fadeValue);         
    delay(30);
  } 
  // White
  for(int fadeValue = 255 ; fadeValue >= 0; fadeValue -=5) { 
    analogWrite(ledPinR, fadeValue);         
    analogWrite(ledPinG, fadeValue);
    analogWrite(ledPinB, fadeValue);
    delay(30);                            
  } 
  for(int fadeValue = 0 ; fadeValue <= 255; fadeValue +=5) { 
    analogWrite(ledPinR, fadeValue);         
    analogWrite(ledPinG, fadeValue);
    analogWrite(ledPinB, fadeValue);
    delay(30);
  } 
}

Step 5: The Result


<p>perhaps a naive question, but... these LED strips have +12V and RGB signal pins. They don't have a GND. How can there be a circuit? There's nowhere for the electrons to go! Also I would like to try this myself but have a different style of amp (looks like this: https://www.flexfireleds.com/rgb-signal-amplifier/ ) - putting a meter on it shows that it does *not* feed back 12V to the input side. Will that affect how to hook it up?</p>
<p>to answer my own question - this amplifier does *not* connect the input +V to 12v so it is safe to drive the amp directly from the +5V and GPIO pins (4,5,6) of the Raspberry Pi! I'll be posting an instructable shortly after I've found the answer to a driver issue. ( https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&amp;t=176740&amp;p=1126989 )</p>
<p>SOLVED - TL;DR place a 10-20k resistor between your output and the input; this works with logic level signals at 5v ** and 3.3v signal too!! **. I too struggled with these pesky amplifiers and finally opened one up to see what's happening on the inside. Here's the synopsis: An op amp (operating as comparator) drives the FETs. It compares to 4.7v for the switching. Each of the inputs has a 110k pull-up to high side (12v). Setting reference voltage equal (tying ground together) allows 5v Arduino to drive the amp. For the case of driving from a 3.3v micro you would run into the issue that neither 0v nor 3.3v are sufficient to switch the output.. however when you place a resistor in the middle it allows the input to be pulled up slightly - then you are toggling between.. let's say 3v and 6.6v which allows you to switch!! Note that nothing is tied to the &quot;reference&quot; in the input ( the one with the arrow ). In fact BE SURE NOT TO CONNECT TO REFERENCE because you are really just connecting to 12v from the power source - don't fry your board. Cheers mates! Happy hacking.</p>
<p>Where exactly are you saying the resistor should go?</p>
<p>The LED amplifier I've got is a RF (radio frequency) controlled board. It even comes with a remote control. It only has anode and cathode from the DC adapter. Anyone has any ideas on hacking it? </p>
<p>I reverse engineered the amp's circuit to understand why it was frying the Arduino. Here's the circuit:</p><p>As you can see, the 12V input from PS is connected to BOTH 12V strip sides, probably so that a single PS supplied the power to BOTH strips. Obviously, if Arduino's 5V is connected to the 12V amp's pin it would fry the Arduino.</p><p>Other than that, and assuming the Zener is indeed 4.7V, it should be possible to control the amp from Arduino. Note that Arduino doesn't sink the LEDs' current, but only a small current through 100K resistor.</p><p>As others have stated, a '1' from Arduino turns LEDs OFF and a '0' turns them ON.</p><p>Hope this helps</p>
<p>Hi</p><p>Great project and great inspiration. I made some modifications to make it smaller and i fixed the problem with the arduino being fryed. The problem that i found was that the amplifier supplies the arduino with -12v and this is too much for the IC. So i opened up the amplifier and removed the Operational amplifier IC and connected the mosfets right to the arduino. For more details see my instructables :)</p>
<p>Cool! Please add a link to your instructable.</p>
<p>here it is :)</p><p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Small-LED-Strip-Controller-With-LED-Amp-and-Arduin/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/Small-LED-Strip-Co...</a></p>
<p>Your diagram shows you hooking the 12v and Ground pins to the side of the mini amplifiers and the photo shows the 12v and Ground lines going mysteriously under the RGB LED strip connector to the mini amplifiers.</p><p>I can't find amplifiers that have connection on the side and I can't figure out from your photos how you made the connection.</p><p>Can you please clarify?</p><p>Thanks</p>
I won't clarify this particular circuit but I have a better one in the works. Please bear with me!
<p>When do you expect your new circuit to be published? No hurry, just interested. Thanks for all your hard work!</p>
<p>*** NEW CIRCUIT ON THE WAY ***</p><p>I have come to realize that this circuit has been involved in harming some of your Arduinos (sorry!). I leave you with a teaser - I have a new improved circuit that even works for the admittedly delicate ESP8266 prototype boards. I will do a little more testing and measurements before sharing but I am confident that the new circuit is much safer.</p><p>I will put it in a new instructable. I have a little too much at work this week to publish but I will be with you shortly!</p>
<p>i follow the same setup, but it ended up frying my arduino uno's COM port, can someone tell me what's wrong? below is the battery i'm using</p>
<p>Thanks for pointing out these amplifiers - very handy for the strips. BUT the way of using them described here is fundamentally wrong. It seems to work, if with some glitches - at least, my lights did shine on Christmas, but really, I was inexperienced and in a hurry. Now I had time to dig a bit deeper.</p><p>Here, the insides of the amplifier. It doesn't measure any voltage potential difference or such, it just tries to sink 12v (11v in fact, after resistors) in the input channels, namely in 5v inputs of Arduino. It successful - the LM124 chip on the right opens the corresponding mosfet, sinking current from output (LED strip). If not - mosfet stays closed, no light. Simple and good: the amplifier actually handles all the ampers in the strip! So:</p><p>1) do not connect 5v to 12v input. Even if it doesn't fry your Arduino, there's no sence: all 12v ins and outs of the amplifier are directly connected.</p><p>2) Arduino seems to be rather abuse-friendly, but still, it's a very bad idea (and practice) to abuse it. Don't sink 11v in 5v pin. In my case, this worked until I tried to send 0,0,0 (or even 5,5,5) to the strip - Arduino gets overloaded with overvoltage and shuts down.</p><p>What to do? Well, I think one can find the right combination of zeners/resistors to sink excess voltage from the amp. I didn't. I used a cheap Darlington array (ULN2003a to be exact) between Arduino pins and amplifier inputs (plus a ground connection). Basically, such an array can be used even without the amplifier, but you'll have to worry about power ratings - each led of the array can sink up tp 500mAs, so for the full strip you'll need 12 legs in 3 groups of 4 connected in parallel. With the amplifier I used 6 legs for two strips. Good!</p><p>Another possible good use of the amplifier is with LED drivers like TLC5940, that will happily sink 12v, but you'll have to get the PWM frequency right. I tried with DM631, that has in-built PWM generator, it seems to be too fast for the mosfets.</p><p>And, by the way, I tried removing the 100k resistors connecting 12v to inputs from the amplifier - no luck, 5v from Arduino is just not enough to switch mosfets. I guess one can remove everything except mosfets and then patch inputs right to their gates, but it's a bit too drastic for me.</p><p>Thanks again for the idea! </p>
Wow, that was a thorough analysis. Thanks for that! Admittedly the project was derived from trial and error in combination with basic assumptions. Having said that, I have been using it successfully for a year for some of my lighting. Perhaps I have been lucky and got my hands on a couple of pristine Ardu's. I will post a note/warning at the top of the instructable.<br><br>I think I have an idea of how you hooked the darlington array up but if you have a circuit drawing, I (and subscribers) would certainly like to see it.<br><br>As for the TLC5940s, you are right. That is the best option, especially for ambitious projects. I have first hand experience. I use two daisy chained chips giving me 32 PWM pins of which I am using 21 pins to power 7 LED amps which power 7 2,5m RGB strips (17,5m tot). Works great! I haven't had the time to make it into an instructable yet though.
<p>I'm not that good at drawing circuits, but thankfully with Darlington arrays it's rather easy - lower leg just controls upper leg, + 2 contacts for Vcc and Gnd.</p><p>Can you tell, please, did you use the TLC5940 library by Alex Leone? Did you change anything in it - especially the PWM freq generator?</p>
<p>Is there a +12VCC on the ULN2003 or is you circuit drawing correct ?</p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>The drawing is correct, no +12v goes to the ULN2003</p>
<p>Tried this out today, worked great. I ended up going with a Photon (by particle,) along with their Shield Shield, which has a voltage regulator, and a 3.3v-&gt;5v voltage translator built in, which seemed to work just as well as the ULN2003a to trigger the RGB amp. The Shield Shield and Amp use the same power supply, and fit very neatly into a small project case. I'll post pics soon. I do NOT have anything going to the 12v pin on the input side of the RGB amp.</p><p>For code, I started with what I found here to get started, then re-wrote it to suit my goals:</p><p><a href="https://www.hackster.io/plaetzchen/a-30-00-led-strip-with-iphone-control" rel="nofollow">https://www.hackster.io/plaetzchen/a-30-00-led-str...</a></p>
<p>I actually ended up making my own board that is essentially an Arduino designed specifically to drive 5 RGB strips (or more with an extension board). Did some mistakes (the voltage regulator overheats and forgot to include a master MOSFET, will correct in next version), but it works. Dissecting an amplifier actually helped to crystallize the idea.</p>
<p>wow, nice work! How did you make the board? More importantly, how did you learn to do that? I'm a weekend tinkerer, but I'd definitely like to learn more.</p>
<p>Simply put, I googled and experimented. The main question however is not how, but what for. If you don&rsquo;t know what you want, Google will give you 42.</p><p>I'm a weekend tinkerer too, got an arduino as a present a year ago. Did my first projects on a breadboard. Bought lots of &quot;modules&quot; &ndash; they are still gathering dust somewhere. Basically, you quickly grow out of the breadboard because of its limitations &ndash; not to mention inconvenience &ndash; and you have to learn soldering in any case (at least to use non-DIP chips on a breadboard with a connector). Tried prototyping boards &ndash; found out they have the same limitations and are awfully clumsy. Decided to make my own boards, as it's pretty easy to etch them with citric acid. In fact, I actually used etching technique (aquafortis &ndash; asphalt paint, needle, drawing lines by hand) as I don't have a laser printer. Even made a specific-purpose arduino with this (below &ndash; it really works despite the appearance), but again: limitations (one side only, no replicating). So, switched to Chinese manufacturers who can print you 10 boards at a very reasonable price (in fact, they print 10x10 cm board that can contain a lot of stuff &ndash; I had 6 different PCBs on it).</p><p>I think of it as levels, defined for myself:</p><p>Level 0 - Blink on Arduino.</p><p>Level 1 - something useful on a breadboard.</p><p>Level 2 - your own kitchen-made PCB for something useful.</p><p>Level 3 - your own factory-manufactured dense PCB for somehing useful. &lt;- I'm here</p><p>Level 4 - explore the wondrous world of 32-bit ARM or any other non-Arduino controller and do something useful with it (and, more importantly, something that will actually gain from ditching Atmega328).</p><p>The biggest problem is thinking up something meaningful to do. That's why a lot of people never go above Blink ('Look, I made this cute 2-LED RGB rainbow and this motor-driven spindle with bunny on top!' &ndash; 'Wow! What for?' &ndash; 'Hm... Beer, anyone?'). That's where you start, and then, once you have a firm idea of what you want, Google help.</p><p>But no one can give an advice on this meaningful idea, it's yours fully. Being a journalist and an artist, I decided to mix microcontrollers with art. You may find inspiration in your own field. Just remember &ndash; if the project you have in mind is already present on IKEA shelves (or in eBay/AliExpress stores), it won't keep you for long.</p>
<p>Thanks for this instructable but I'm a little lost with all the replies.</p><p>Can you tell me if this will work :</p><p>Arduino Vin on 6VDC power supply.</p><p>Arduino outputs PWM on ULN2003A Inputs</p><p>ULN2003A outputs on Amp inputs RGB.</p><p>Amp outputs RGB on LED strip.</p><p>Red wire of Amp on 12VDC power supply.</p><p>All Gnd together.(Arduino, ULN2003A, 6VDC, 12VDC, Amp)</p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>LED Amp fires</p>
<p>Same here. Being a newbie, I burned 2 devices before I figured out what was wrong. I got it working in the end though, see my comment below</p>
<p>in trying this, I found that the amplifier puts out 12v at both, the input and output terminals. Unfortunately, I found this out the hard way, rather than using a voltmeter first. The result was, I burned out pin 9 on an arduino that doesn't have a replaceable chip. I highly recommend putting a blocking diode on the input line to keep the voltage from backfeeding into the arduino. </p>
Sorry to hear that you burned out a pin. The diode is a really good idea. It should make the circuit more rubust. I haven't had any problems with damaging input current though so I guess not all RGB amps are created equal. I have used this circuit several times. Did you get it working with the diode?
<p>i use these rgb amplifies on a switch to control the exterior LED lighting on my car. you actually dont need to run any input on the +12v in pin. the way the amplifier works is it takes the + voltage from the power supply not the input, and the negative its whats actually being boosted. </p>
<p>This sounds like the best option if it works. That is, you are connecting only ground and the PWM pins from the Arduino to the ground and RGB inputs of the LED amplifier. The Arduino would be driving the amplifier inputs with +5v relative to ground. </p><p>The only question would be whether the transistors in the LED amplifier can fully turn on with 5v inputs; if they are conventional FETs they might not fully conduct (meaning they would be dissipating a lot of heat). Since this is expected to be driven from nearly 12v from the previous strip, there's no reason they would use more expensive logic level FETS. On the other hand, if it uses bipolar transistors, the Arduino's 5v input would be enough so it would be mostly a question of whether the series resistors would limit 5v to too low a current. (FETs are voltage operated, Bipolar transistors are current operated).<br><br>I wish we knew the circuit of the LED amplifier. Anybody?</p>
<p>Thinking further about this, the LED amplifiers (and the LED controller) for these common anode RGB strips can perhaps be best understood as if they were &quot;positive ground&quot; (rather than negative ground). The positive power connection is the common reference for the whole series of strips, power supplies, controller, and amplifiers. Each strip may be separately powered - using a 12v power supply to provide -12v to a controller or an amplifier (relative to that common positive). <br><br>The controller selectively pulls the RGB cathodes towards -12V. An amplifier receives selective -12v RGB signals (not quite that due to resistive losses) from the end of a strip, and uses that to selectively pull the next strip's RGB cathodes towards the -12v of the next power supply.<br><br>A separately powered Arduino could be connected to the LED amplifier inputs by ONLY it's +5 and PWM pins. It would pull the LED amplifier inputs to -5v, or keep them at about 0v (relative to that common positive). But the question would be whether -5V is enough to gate the transistors sufficiently to pull the RGB cathodes of the &quot;next&quot; strip (first strip from the Arduino's viewpoint) to -12v from the LED power supply. If the LED amplifier is using conventional (not logic level or low threshold) FETs, that 5v input may not get them to fully conduct, which means dimmer LEDs and signficantly more heat dissipated in the transistors of the LED Amplifier (probably a pretty bad idea). Note that PWM would be inverted from normal: PWM level 0 would be full on, and PWM level 255 would be full off; easy enough to handle in software.<br><br>Powering the Arduino from the same 12V LED power supply confuses this analysis. The linear regulator input on the Arduino would be at 0V (relative to the common positive), while it's VCC after the regulator was at -7v and its ground was at -12v (all relative to the common LED positive of the LED amplifier and power supplies). </p><p>That means from the Arduino's viewpoint, a zero/low pin output is trying to pull a +12v LED amplifier input to its own negative ground. Or a one/high pin output is trying to pull the pin to +5 relative to its ground (or -7v relative to the common LED positive). That's likely to be problematic in many cases - tho it still depends on exactly what circuit the LED amplifier uses for its inputs.<br><br>It would be great to know more about the circuit in the particular LED amplifier you used, to help explain why this setup works for you (at least so far). But it's not surprising if different LED amplifiers may have real problems, either damaging the Arduino or themselves in this setup.</p><p>3 cheap NPN bipolar transistors could probably make this work well (and restore the PWM normal polarity) - when the Arduino pulls their input low they would not conduct and thus the LED amplifier input would float, and when it pulls the input high they conduct and pull the LED amplifier input to the arduino and transistor's ground, or the -12V power supply side (from the common LED positive's perspective), which is exactly what the LED amplifier would have expected to receive from the previous strip in normal usage.<br></p>
<p>Of course, if you are going to add 3 transistors (and probably at least 3 resistors) between the arduino and the LED amplifier, you could have considered just using 3 power transistors to begin with and omitting the LED amplifier. For example 3 logic gate FETs (Back to inverting the PWM sense in that case). The main difference is that you could use cheaper bipolar transistors like a 2n3904 if you keep the LED amplifier in the circuit.</p>
<p>Hi,<br>Colud you upgrade the circuit with the diode?<br><br>Thanks.</p>
<p>Hi </p><p>Can I use transistor instead of &quot;Mini LED amplifier&quot; ?</p>
<p>Warning: I fried my Arduino mega using this. The 5V out(arduino) to 12v input(LED amp) wasn't isolated, so 12v to my 5v out and fried board.</p>
I'm hoping this will work for my project. <br><br>I have an existing circuit running on 3V and would like to add an LED strip on to the end of it. My thought would be to power the existing circuit at 3V, connect the RGB from the existing circuit to the amplifier and power the strip with 12 V. Would I then be able to connect the grounds? Or is that too much voltage through the existing circuit?
<p>Hello I just had a quick question, in the diagram the 12v and gnd from the led amp are connected to the arduino via the breadboard I believe, but in the picture you have it set up a different way. I guess what I'm asking is for some clarification as to how you have the 12v and gnd via the breadboard. Sorry I'm new to all of this...</p>
<p>Ok so to clarify do I need a 12v power connector or is that optional? I was under the impression that all I needed to power the LED strip was an arduino.</p>
Hi, you need to power the strip from a 12v source. It is rated at 12v. The arduino (most) will operate at 12v too, i. e. you can power both from the same source. You can't drive much of anything directly out from the Arduino. High currents will kill it. The point of this circuit is to let the Arduino do what it is good at, in this case - PWM out, and let the LED amp focus on pumping current to the strip.
<p>Thanks for the response! I'm trying to have the color change via temperature, and as it rises phase the colors from green to yellow to orange to red on the led lights, do you have any idea as to how I would code this? I figured that I would have a base temperature which would be green and a threshold which would red one once it was reached but my problem is figuring out how to phase from one to the other based on the the temperature. Any ideas would help!</p>
<p>Thanks for a great post! I used your circuit and added a sound sensor to analog 0: </p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/120682221" width="500"></iframe></p><p>The arduino code: </p><p><br>int soundSensorPin=A0;<br>int soundReading=0;<br>int soundThreshold=500;<br>int intensity[3]={0,0,0};<br>int LEDPins[3] = {3,5,6};<br>int numberOfPins=3;<br>int currentPin=0;<br>int fadeCounter=0;<br>int fadeDelay=50;<br>boolean switcher = true;<br><br>void setup(){<br> pinMode(soundSensorPin, INPUT);<br> for(int i=0; i&lt;numberOfPins;i++){<br> pinMode(LEDPins[i],OUTPUT);<br> Serial.begin(9600);<br> }<br>}<br><br>void loop(){<br> soundReading=analogRead(soundSensorPin);<br> if(soundReading&lt;soundThreshold){<br> Serial.println(soundReading);<br> if(switcher){<br> aboveThreshold(currentPin);<br> switcher=true;<br> delay(50); <br> }<br> } else {<br> if(switcher){<br> belowThreshold();<br> switcher=true;<br> }<br> }<br>}<br><br>void aboveThreshold(int cPin){<br> switcher=false;<br> if(intensity[cPin]&gt;200){<br> intensity[cPin]=0;<br> delay(20);<br> currentPin=currentPin+1;<br> }<br><br> if(currentPin==numberOfPins){<br> currentPin=0;<br> }<br>}<br><br>void belowThreshold(){<br> switcher=false;<br> fadeCounter++;<br> if(fadeCounter==fadeDelay){<br> fadeCounter=0;<br> for(int i=0; i&lt;numberOfPins;i++){<br> analogWrite(LEDPins[i],intensity[i]);<br> }<br> for(int i=0; i&lt;numberOfPins;i++){<br> intensity[i]++;<br> if(intensity[i]&gt;254){<br> intensity[i]=255;<br> }<br> }<br> }<br>}</p>
Nice one!
<p>Thanks for this indestructible.<br><br>I've a small question, Can I use SMD 50505 RGB LED strip and make few LEDS glow RED and few glow BLUE and some glow Green at the same time and all in one strip only. I've a 5M SMD 5050 RGB Strip</p>
No, that can't be done on the same strip. You would have to split the strip into different segments and control each part individually. There are LED strips on the market which have individually addressable LED beads but that is a totally different concept.
<p>Thanks for this very simple instrauctable.<br>I've tried to make it work with to source of power (One for the LED strip and one for the arduino) and it does not work. I think it's because the GND's are not connected.</p><p>Do you think it's possible to have a single power source and a DC power splitter (</p><p>http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2pcs-DC-1-to-2-Powe... for my arduino uno and my LED strip ?</p><p>Thanks again,</p>
<p>tedour - you are right. If you prefer two power sources, you need to connect the two circuits by joining either GND or +. I'm not sure which is best. I would probably try + first since the LED amp is common anode. </p><p>I can't see and consequently not comment on the aliexpress item. The URL is truncated.</p>
<p>Ok, thanks for your answer.</p><p>sorry for the link, it's something like that : </p>
<p>A splitter cable like that connects the two circuits with + and GND. There is no isolation between the two.</p>
<p>Ok, so it should work fine like that... Thanks for your help, i will give it a try and comme back here to tell you if it works :)</p>
<p>Still doesn't work, but i think my amplifier is HS. I've also seen this video :</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6M2HYxm6G84" width="500"></iframe></p><p>So i will buy something stronger (hope so :)) :</p><p>http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Freeshipping-DC12V-12A-144W-3-Channel-Mini-RGB-LED-Amplifier-Controller-for-RGB-LED-Strip-Light/585754271.html</p>

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