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5 pin strip to power source Answered

Hi, I accidentally ordered a 5 pin LED strip and am having trouble finding a way to connect it to a power source. Is there an adapter?

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360Moore
360Moore

10 months ago

Aaah! Please don't try to power the whole strip through your Flora! Assuming you have this product (https://www.adafruit.com/product/659), you can only power 50 LEDs at a time (on your strip, approx 35cm) through the controller, without an external power supply. If you try and connect more than 50 LEDs, it could seriously damage the controller. Why? Because LED strips like the one you have actually require a fair amount of current. 1m of the WS2812B 144 LEDs/meter requires approx 8.6 Amps at 5V, assuming full brightness and pure white. That is why there are those 2 extra power/ground wires: so you can connect an external power supply to provide enough current to power the LEDs. I've got one of these strips above my desk (only 60 LEDs/meter) and it is fantastic, but it needs to be powered with an external supply. Please be careful when working with things like this: also ensure that if you are powering the LED strip externally, that a) your power supply is up to task, and b) you use good-quality wires that are at least as thick as the wires attached to the strip: I used a pair of cheap, thin alligator clips and they get pretty toasty, even though i'm only using less than a half as much current as you may be.
Have fun and be safe - PM me if you ahve any other questions.

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heather.walls
heather.walls

Reply 10 months ago

I was planning on using an external power source and the flora, I had just originally thought that all 5 wires somehow needed to be directly connected to the battery. I’m powering 12 lights. I’m making a pair of boots that each have 12 LEDs running in a “U” shape up the back.

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360Moore
360Moore

Reply 10 months ago

Sounds cool! If you're only using 12 LEDs, you can just power them straight through the Flora, so hook up the battery to the Flora, and the LEDs to the Flora. No need to use the 2 extra cables. Just a side note - if you do ever have to use those 2 wires (e.g. more LEDs) make sure you do not connect the power wire of the LEDs to the Flora, but also make sure you DO connect the ground wire. If you don't connect the ground wire from the LEDs, it just won't work.

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heather.walls
heather.walls

10 months ago

Thanks for your quick response! I've attached some images of the strip, and below are the specs

Model: WS2812B 144 pixels LED strip
light source: 5050 RGB LED
Led Qty: 144pcs per meter
Wave length(NM):R,650nm ; G,520nm ; B,460nm
IC Model: WS2811 IC built in 5050 SMD
The gray level: 256
View angle:120°
Color: full color (24-bit )
Voltage: DC 5V
Power: 0.3W ± 0.01% per LED
Waterproof: waterproof IP67
FPCB board color: white
Dimension: 40*0.55*0.15inches/ 1000*14*4mm
Life span:≥50000hrs

So it has a JST-SM 3 pin connector (I don't know what JST-SM stands for though) and the other two wires are obviously the power and ground, but I'm still not sure how to successfully wire it to a battery pack (I will also be connecting a Flora and mic amp to the circuit). Do I just connect the power and grounds together? If I did a circuit with just the LEDs and battery pack what would I connect the JST-SM wires to?

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 9.43.13 PM.png
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Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

Reply 10 months ago

These are NeoPixels. (WS2811 or WS2812 are basically synonyms for the same thing) For this LED strip, it is not just a matter of giving it power. It wants power and signal, and the signal part is rather complicated.

Adafruit's NeoPixel Uberguide
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-neopixel-uberg...

FadeCandy USB-Controlled Driver for RGB NeoPixels
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1689

I think it is complicated enough, to consider rectifying this accidental order. Either trade these in for the cheap, dumb, kind of LED strip lights, that are easy to use. Or if that is not possible, just start over, by buying the kind that are easy to power, like with just a 12 volt, constant volage supply, capable of maximum current of maybe 2 amperes.

Or maybe, I need to back up farther than that, and ask the question: What kind of light do you want?

These NeoPixels (WS2811 or WS2812) are individually addressable, and a whole array of them can animated with all kinds of crazy patterns, basically every LED a different color, at any given instant in time, depending on the whim of the programmer. But programming it is complicated.

Unless you can figure out how that FadeCandy mojo works. Or if you already have some skills in programming Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

In contrast, for the more common, dumb, LED strips, every LED is the same color at the same time, and it is only the RGB, or RGBW ones, for which this color is adjustable. The more simple versions, just come in one color, and the only thing adjustable is brightness.

Also it happens the dumb LED strips, usually want a 12 volt DC supply. I am not sure why.

In contrast, these crazy Neopixels usally want a 5 volt DC supply, which is the same supply voltage wanted by the small computer (e.g. Arduino or Raspberry Pi) needed to drive the array of Neopixels.

That is a clue, I guess. The difference in supply voltages. Dumb LED strips are usually 12 VDC. Neopixels usually want 5VDC. But how would you know that clue, if you are new to the topic?

Anyway, please accept my condolences for you accidentally buying the wrong thing.

By the way, what is a "Flora?" And why do "Flora," and a microphone amp, and LED lights all go together?

Unless "Flora" is something that drives Neopixels... That might be helpful.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=flora+neopixels&ia=web

https://learn.adafruit.com/getting-started-with-fl...

Also, by the way, JST does not stand for anything meaningful. Not really.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JST_connector

It is just one kind of connector. One way to plug in 3 small wires at once.
Maybe the SM part of JST-SM stands for "surface mount." Again, not really useful information.

More useful information would be pinouts; i.e. knowing which wire does what.

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360Moore
360Moore

Reply 10 months ago

Very important point - WS2811 and WS2812(B) are not synonyms - there's a great video by The Hook Up here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnvircC22hU) - but the key idea is that a) WS2811 are 12V, WS2812(B) are 5V, and b) WS2811 strips have little microchip controllers every 3 LEDs - this means you can only address the LEDs in groups of 3 (i.e. a 60 LED strip actually behaves like 20 groups of 3 LEDs). WS2812 LED strips solve this problem by actually incorporating that little microchip inside the LED itself - it's super cool. Below are 2 pictures - one of a WS2811 strip (note the black chip every 3 LEDs) and a close up of a single WS2812 LED (note the integrated microcontroller).

71XVwhcKGAL._SL1500_.jpg[core-electronics.com.au][327]neopixel-closeup.gif
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Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

Reply 10 months ago

OK. I stand corrected. Also thank you for the link. That looks helpful.

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heather.walls
heather.walls

Reply 10 months ago

Oooh! Thank you, I didn’t realize I didn’t have to connect all of them directly to the power source, those three extra wires are going to connect to the Flora-the microcontroller I’m using- then the microcontroller will be connected to a power source, I got it. Thank you!

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Downunder35m
Downunder35m

10 months ago

With 5 pins I have to assume it is a RGB strip.
There should be markings for at least positive and negative, usually indicated by 12V and - .
Most have additionally R G B marked near the connector as well.
Makes it 12V positive for red, green and blue respectively.
If your strip only shows markings for 12V or positive and -, ground or 0 then these should the outer most contacts.
In such a case the three between them are for red, green and blue - the additional 12V connection should give 12V to all colors.

Be aware of China-chainware!!
I had 5 pin strips where the 12V connection was only used as "through-wire"!
Means both negative and 12V were going through the entrie strip but only the negative had connections to the LED's.
According to the seller this "feature" allows for an easier power supply to multiple strips.
Like having one strip going up the wall and then using the 12V "spare" to power another in-line RGB controller.
I really advise against doing this!
It is only feasable for small strips as with full length strips of more than one meter length you risk overloading these 12V rails in the strip.

If you have the means we would appreciate a close up pic of the connector area ;)

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Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

10 months ago

Sometimes these artifacts come with little symbols scribbled on them, and the symbols can give us clues as to what wire does what. Sometimes there are clues in the colors of the wires, if it happens your LED strip has colorful wires.

I will attach some example pictures, of some LED strip lights I have seen, that have 5 pins, namely, {R,G,B,W, +12VDC} but these examples are not exhaustive, and your LED strip light might be something completely different.

I have no way of picturing what exactly your LED strip looks like (on the outside, or on the inside), except that I know that you have described it as having 5 pins.

rgbw-5-pin-led-strip-light-v2.jpgrgbw-5-pin-led-strip-light-v1.jpg