3528 Led strip question

kev2809

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Aug 6, 2014
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hey guys, was wondering if you could help me out. i make wooden signs in my free time for people who want to pay for them :cool:. i use the 3528 led strips off of ebay everyone sees for sale. well, the directions say not to wire more than 1 roll (5m or 16.4ft) to a single plug. i have never used more than one roll for a sign, but now i have someone wanting a bigger sign, and they will require (im guessing here) around 30 ft of light. instead of using 2 seperate plugs, i was wanting to wire them to 1 single plug. does anyone know what is this minimum amp and watt plug i would need for a wall plug? the ones i usually use are 2amp 12 volt regular wall plugs.
 

Genes

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Aug 24, 2003
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I have used a number of these for Christmas decorations. Two issues: 1) Many of the power supplies for these won't supply enough current to power two, 5 meter, reels in series. However, if you have a large enough power supply you can easily power two 5 meter lengths in series. 2) The conductors on these strips are very small so there is considerable voltage drop along the length of the strip. With two reels in series, you can readily see that the last leds at the end of the second reel aren't as bright as the leds at the beginning of the first reel. This isn't a big deal with Christmas decorations, but it may not work at all for a commercial sign. Many of these strips come with wireless remotes. The receivers for the remotes have a weak link; the output FETs. They are smd design and limited to a couple of amps. I cannibalized one of these receivers, removed the existing FETs and used larger, 60 volt, 55 amp FETs in their place. It works fine. Most of these light strips have the black wire being a common anode and the red, green, and blue wires drive the individual colors. The BIG issue with all of these smd led light strips is they are very poor quality and even though they are flexible, almost any bending will result in a conductor or connection failure. I used silicon caulking to secure these to 1x2 wood strips and the conductors still break due to temperature changes during the winter days here in Kentucky. I have had numerous reels fail simply unreeling them before I even started to mount them. My 20 amp power supply easily powers 5 strings, in parallel with each string being two 5 meter lengths in series.
Good luck
 
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kev2809

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Aug 6, 2014
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ok thats what I have been reading. the usual plugs ive been using are rated at 2 amps.. I was thinking of getting a 5 amp plug and wiring the 2 reels to the same plug. do you think nore than 16ft of light will burn out the remotes? im assuming I could just wire the remote in between the wall outlet and driver, instead of between driver and lights....
 

uski

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Aug 18, 2014
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Hi

Be very careful as to where you put the remotes.
The remotes are generally rated for 12VDC and will be a safety hazard (or can simply burn out and catch fire) if you connect them to 120VAC or 240VAC. I highly suggest that you do not do anything on the AC side of the power supply.

As to the power supplies, simply measure the current used by 5 meters of strip with a multimeter on the 10A range setting and extrapolate what you need (the power is linear with the strip length).

You can use more than 5 meters but you simply need to run separate, thicker wires for the power.
So if you want to run 15 meters of light straight, run 3 strips of 5 meters, with big power wires being ran in parallel of the first two, powering the start of the second and thrid stripes. The first stripe and the beginning of the wire will be simply connected in parallel to the output of the power supply.

You might also simply use multiple power supplies. It will add some redundancy in the event one of the power supplies fails.

uski
 
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