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What is the best way to wire led strips?

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macman123

Joined: Jun 26 2010
Posts: 2


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Post Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:08 am

Hi,
I'm new to wiring leds, I'm unsure how to go about it, here's how I THINK I should wire led strips


Should I use a 12 or 24v battery for two 12v strips? Do I need to add anything else?

btw, I'm putting them inside a gutted computer case.

Thanks in advance!
Cooper

Joined: Mar 19 2006
Posts: 1770


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Post Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:26 am

You will still want to use a 12 volt power supply or battery for any number of strips wired together in the same installation . Is the computer case gutted of the power supply too ? If not you can use the 12v rail on the power supply to power your LED strips instead of a battery (or maybe that's what you're already planning on) . icon_biggrin.gif

You don't want to wire the LED strips in series though, which is how you have it pictured . You'll want something like this instead .

User posted image

The difference is in your plan the power has to travel through one strip to get to the next strip .
In the second picture each strip has direct access to the power, but the switch still interrupts the ground wire for both strips so they'll turn on and off together . Hope that clarifies, it was a hastily done picture while I take a break from weekend cleaning . icon_biggrin.gif
macman123

Joined: Jun 26 2010
Posts: 2


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Post Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:46 am

Thanks! Very helpful, it makes sense, since each strip gets direct power, they will both get a full 12v, right? And if 1 strip goes out for some reason, the other will still work. So I just split/splice/whatever the line to create 2 lines?

Unfortunately, the power supply was the first thing to go! We had a huge storm last year and a surge got it, everything else in the comp was fine though (but a new power supply for it would cost over $100, so I didn't think it was worth it (it was an old comp anyway). Now i use it for storage (it's got a nice handle on the side to get inside, it's a powermac g4 mirror drive doors). I plan to put the leds near the air vents, it's going to be awesome (if only the million color controller wasn't out of my budget icon_sad.gif )
Cooper

Joined: Mar 19 2006
Posts: 1770


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Post Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:01 pm

macman123 wrote:
Thanks! Very helpful, it makes sense, since each strip gets direct power, they will both get a full 12v, right? And if 1 strip goes out for some reason, the other will still work. So I just split/splice/whatever the line to create 2 lines?


Yup, either split the lines or just run them parallel, so like two power wires coming out of the battery, two ground wires going into the switch from the strips, etc . icon_biggrin.gif
They'll both get a full 12v this way . Otherwise if you run the power through one device before it goes into the next the voltage will drop and they won't receive full power . icon_cry.gif
sylynce

Joined: Jul 27 2010
Posts: 1


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Post Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:36 pm

I am planning something very similar- with SMD strips (1 foot each) in the front foot wells, and the LED strips(9.5" each) in the rear (with maybe some 3mm pre-wired LEDs chained in). All blue.

Thanks for the diagram- just a couple of questions:

I will be using 18ga wire. If I use a fuse adapter to connect the power from the fuse box, is there any point in having an additional in-line fuse? Amperage if so?

With this number of LEDs do I need resistors? If so- what is recommended? I will likely run the wires under the console, and use quick taps to tap in for each of the strips/ LEDs. Same for + as ground. of course I will run everything after the toggle switch (with the blue LED).

Thanks very much in advance for your help!!!


Jeff
FooFoo502

Joined: Mar 29 2009
Posts: 140
Location: Sarasota, Fl


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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:55 am

I have four led strips in my computer case and actually created a small, removable power block using a 4 pin molex connector (using only two slots for power/ground) and a dual bus bar I had lying around from an old project. You can get the dual bus bars at any hobby or Radio Shack pretty cheap. If you are handy, you can splice your power connections into an existing 12v molex from your PSU or get a 2-wire bridge and put it between any of them (won't interrupt power flow to hardware if you use one that's already connected) This way, I have a ready-to-use power distribution block on the bottom of my case for lights, fans, etc without having to even turn my computer off. You can even connect all your LED lights wires together by twisting then soldering the ends (makes the connection more solid) and connecting them to just one of these open positions. The strip only powers up when the computer is on so no power drain issues.

Here's what I used:

User posted image

User posted image

Even easier (and probably cleaner looking install) would be to use the power distribution block sold here by Oznium. Just connect your molex leads to the 12v leads of a corresponding AC converter connector and plug it in.

https://www.oznium.com/install-bay/junction-box
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