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Can I power a bunch of Neopixels with DC?
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Can I power a bunch of Neopixels with DC?

by jayconverse on Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:07 pm

I have an art project in mind where I'll Arduino or Raspberry the heck out of a bunch of Neopixels, but I want to but fully mobile, like no AC cord. I already do performances where I power my 40 lbs of costume with a 5ah 12V lead acid battery in my backpack, so do you think that a battery that size, or maybe an average car battery (with the appropriate step down to 5V) would give me a decent play time with Neopixels?

Regards,
Jay (SousaFlame) Converse

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Re: Can I power a bunch of Neopixels with DC?

by michaelmeissner on Thu May 01, 2014 3:34 am

How many neopixels are you talking about? I've powered a Gemma and a pair of 16-led neopixel rings in my goggles for at least 24 hours on a single 1200 maH 3.7v lipo battery. Note, I set the max brightness to 30. I'm sure if it was all white at full power, I would probably only get a few hours at most. Also note, the newer neopixels tend to need closer to 5v of power, so if you use a 5ah/12v battery, you will need a voltage regulator that can effectively lower the power to 5v and handle a few amps.

You can get 18650 based battery setups that claim to put out 5v 2a of power, that would be great for a medium set of neopixels (at full power, each neopixel uses 5v and 60ma of power). So if you had 16 neopixels at full power, it would take ~2a (or 32 neopixels at 1/2 power, or 64 neopixels at 1/4 power).

Since my large steampunk camera is maybe 20 pounds, and I have carried it on a neck strap for a full day, I can imagine your pain (though a backpack is probably better for weight than a neck strap) :-)

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.