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How to get RGB LED strip to work with Arduino? Answered

So I have recently started to experiment with my Arduino that I purchased about a year ago. I have done pretty well with the examples and simple projects provided by the book that came with it, however I wanted to see if I could branch out. My friend has a LED strip that is lying around and I wanted to see if there was any way I would be able to control it with my arduino. I am afraid that I dont know much about what I would need, but maybe someone out there would!

Here are some pictures of what I have to work with:

http://imgur.com/a/X3qVs

Let me know if you need more information regarding anything in the pictures. I hope someone out there can help me.

Thanks

Discussions

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nomuse

5 years ago

Not that helpful looking at pictures trying to identify a strip. It looks like a familiar format, though; I'd guess it is an RGB wired for 12 volts. The easy visual check is to see if the LEDS are run in series x 3; since the drop is over 2 volts each, that puts you nominally over 5 volts.

A naked Arduino won't do much of anything with it. The outputs are only pushing 5 volts, and can maybe swing 40 ma on a good day.

What you need is a lever; power transistors, power darlingtons, even relays. There are a number of pre-made shields out there for switching more serious loads. Myself, I've been using darlingtons, particularly the ULN2803 array, but off the top of my head it can only handle a couple yards of that stuff. Every single LED there is a 20 ma load, and that adds up quick.

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phenoptix

5 years ago

Looks like an RGB strip. Most likely runs 12V but test with 5V first if you can. You're going to need some transistors to control it with Arduino I think.

Very much like the background to your pics by the way. Is that the autocatalytic reaction of Oxalic acid and Potassium Permanganate you're studying?

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caitlinsdad

5 years ago

Look on adafruit.com's learning system or go through the LED strip products. They have tutorials on probably similar LED strips with arduino. I guess you have to test to see what voltage the strip may require. Good luck.