Controlling an LED strip using transistors

Hey everyone,

I am currently developing a lighting system using Arduino that uses 12V LED strips. To control each colour, I have seen that you have to use TIP120 transistors. Can I substitute these with 2N2222A transistors, or can these not handle the power?

Kind regards,
Alex

Probably not. What's the current rating on the LED strip?

The 2N2222 is only rated to 600mA (and you might need a heatsink and you should leave some safety margin). The TIP120 may also need a heatsink.

...Worst case, you'll burn out the transistor so if you have extra 2N2222s you can try it. :wink: Generally, transistors short-out when burned-up so the LEDs would be stuck-on.

BTW - MOSFET drivers generally run cooler.

I'm not sure where you heard that you must use TIP120s. These days it normally makes a lot more sense to use MOSFETs.

Steve

I'm not sure where you heard that you must use TIP120s. These days it normally makes a lot more sense to use MOSFETs.

The only good reason to use TIP120s is if someone gave you a hundred of them, or you live on a desert island
with no contact with the outside world.