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Can I power a 5M 5050 RGB led strip with a pc PSU? Answered

I would love to control an RGB led strip with an Arduino, it would look great on my desk. I would love to know wether I could power this strip using an old desktop powersupply.

LED strip: http://www.ebay.com/itm/5M-5050-RGB-SMD-Non-Waterproof-Flexible-LED-Strip-300LEDs-Free-44Key-IR-Remote-/131705042790?hash=item1eaa3b7766:g:RmYAAOSwX~dWnaxL#shpCntId

PSU: http://www.bitzotech.com/fsp-group-fsp280-60pna-e-pf-280-watt-power-supply-3659-164-p.asp

I want to be able to either power the strip directly and control it with an arduino using a mosfet, or plug it in to the box to control the colours with the ir remote that comes with the strip. I probably won't use the entire strip at once, but I think I'll use 3M or less.

It would be great if you could help me!



3 years ago

Short answer is yes.

The LED strips are usually 12 volt so any 12 volt source that has enough amperage will work. Many of those come as kits and include wall transformers which can power a few strips. The problem with a computer power supply is you need to know how to turn it on and keep it on. Also it has multiple voltages but you only need a 12 volt one. Its kind of overkill.

I wrote up an instructable on buying LED's from E bay , including the power supplies.


You might find it informative.

By the way, the infrared controls work OK but I much prefer the RF ones. The prices is very reasonable.


Answer 3 years ago

Thank you for the answer. I already know how to power on the PSU and keep it on, and which wires I need to connect, so that won't be a problem. I read your buyers guide and it is really helpful, I wish I would have found it earlier, because it contains a lot of useful information :) There is only one thing that I can't agree to, my led strip has a delivery time between 2 and 4 days (FROM HONG KONG TO THE NETHERLANDS!!!!!). I ordered them yesterday and I am really curious to see wether it will be here in time or not!


Answer 3 years ago

I use a computer power supply for most of my testing and experimenting. They handle things like being shorted out or overloaded a lot better.

2 to 4 days is pretty good. You are probably much closer than I am.

I am planning on writing a Part 2 guide. At first I was just going to add onto the first one but I have been looking into enough other new stuff in the last year that I can make a second Part 2 guide.

If you want to try some really bright lights you can look into these.


These are unbelievably bright, up to 9000 lumen. We found that besides being useful outside they can be used as bounced lighting inside. Just one $20 light produces the same light as 2 to 3 full sets of tube florescence's. They are amazing.