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AWG Size for 5v LED Project
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

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AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by wilhelmthorpe on Thu Jan 20, 2022 7:34 pm

I have a 5m, 300 LED project with power supplied by a 5v 40a supply. The wires that come soldered to the LED strip are super small and don't seem like they could handle 40a if the lights ever get to full brightness. Am I wrong to think that? I'm confused about how to connect my strip to the power supply and the awg size I'll need.

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:02 pm

It would not help if the attached wire were heavier since the traces on the flexible backing for the strip would not likely handle 40A either.

For safety, you need to fuse each branch of your wiring for the maximum expected current flow. 300 RGB LEDs might draw as much as 18A. (24A for RGBW)

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by wilhelmthorpe on Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:30 pm

Oh, right! That makes sense. Would you mind suggesting a connector to go from the bare LED wire to the PSU? I'm using the Mean Well LSR-200-5. Appreciate it!

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:27 pm

The MeanWell has screw terminals that will accept either bare wire, spade or ring-terminal style connectors. To extend the wires from power supply to the LEDs, you can do either conventional soldered splices or use crimp-type butt connectors.

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by wilhelmthorpe on Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:06 pm

Okay, great! Thanks for the help!

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by wilhelmthorpe on Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:21 pm

May I ask one more question I can't seem to find the answer to? After I wire the LED strip to the PSU, does the end of the strip need to be wired back to the PSU or can it just remain unwired?

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:30 pm

For 300 pixels, you should be supplying power to both ends. Otherwise there will be a significant voltage drop from one end of the strip to the other and the pixels at the end will be dimmer and may malfunction. https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-neopixel-uberguide

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by wilhelmthorpe on Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:32 pm

Okay great, and does the data line need to come from the controller to the end as well, or just bring another power line from the PSU to the end?

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:38 pm

Just power. Leave the data out pin at the end unconnected.

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by wilhelmthorpe on Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:47 pm

I appreciate all the help. Thank you! So it'll look something like this:

MeanWell LRS-200-5
- Line/Neutral/Ground IN from power cable to mains
- V+ OUT to beginning LED 5v+ IN (wire with spade connector)
- V- OUT to beginning LED GND IN (wire with spade connector)
- 2nd V+ OUT to end of LED 5v+ IN (wire with spade connector)
- 2nd V- OUT to end of LED GND IN (wire with spade connector)

Just as far as the power goes. My ESP32/level shifter setup is a whole nuther thing I need to learn!

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by wilhelmthorpe on Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:06 pm

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Multimeter confirms 5v coming out of the PSU. I get continuity when I check the strip end to end, and resistance reads .9. No light coming on though.
IMG_1187.jpg
IMG_1187.jpg (894.19 KiB) Viewed 60 times

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:18 pm

Neopixels don't light by themselves. You need to provide a control signal to the first pixel. https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-neopixel-uberguide

And as advised in an earlier post, you should connect power and ground to the end of the strip as well.

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by wilhelmthorpe on Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:15 pm

Ah! Well, that's a relief! Yes, I plan on connecting power to the end, but I was hoping to make sure I was getting power to the LED. I'll have to test that when I get my ESP32 set up. Thanks for all the help!

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by wilhelmthorpe on Sat Jan 22, 2022 3:04 am

I have another question if you don't mind. Seems the butt joint and spade connectors I got say "copper only" on the back. Is this a problem? Seems like the LED wiring is aluminum.

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Re: AWG Size for 5v LED Project

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Jan 22, 2022 7:58 am

The wires on the strips should be tinned copper.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.