Controlling IKEA's DIODER

Hi everyone,

I’m working on a little project where I want to color a wall with lights. The idea is to have the arduino control the color, intensity and perhaps some sort of pulsation of the lights.

I’ve already gotten this to work on a smaller scale so that is not the issue here.

The problem or question is how to make bigger. For this I intend to use IKEAs (yay sweden) DIODER light strips. Other than seeing examples of this on youtube I don’t know if it will work. What kind of power DIODER uses and what not.

So the question is, have anyone successfully controlled DIODER with an arduino?

Google is your friend... first result


Thanks I actually knew of both those projects however for some reason I got stuck on the flickr page and didn't find the info I needed.

Yeah, I must admit I waded through way too many of the photos on Flickr before I found one with a link to the blog post. But I'm stubborn like that...


I have bought and Arduino controlled one of these:

30 RGB LED's For a little over 16 US$ - free shipping is a good deal

Do you know how many mA per channel each of those DIODER strips require? Because if it's 150mA or less per color, they could be controlled with my new ShiftBar device:

Same goes for the Dealextreme flex strip (in the photo I'm using two $10 Dealextreme RGB strips).

Thanks for all the suggestions. I was really happy to see that the free shipping was world wide aswell. Makes the IKEA DIODER a bit pricy in comparison. However I think I will have to do some more digging on how long a DIODER is, how much it can illuminate and so forth.

@MikMo & macegr You guys using the DX strips? How powerful would you say they are. If you put them on the floor close to a white wall, How much would you be able to illuminate using the strips?

@macegr What is a ShiftBar?

The DX strips end to end would definitely light up a wall, if they were the primary lighting source present in the room. You might want some kind of diffuser, or spray the LEDs with glass frosting spray.

The ShiftBar is a currently unreleased new product of mine, it's like a ShiftBrite except you get to choose your own LEDs and you can adjust the current limit. They are what is attached to the Dealextreme bars in the photo above.

I don't really have anything new to add except that this has inspired me to try to rig something like this up today with some old luxeon's i have lying around and a touch wheel.

@MikMo I bought one of those 1 meter RGB LED strips from DX as you recommended. Since I'm quite new with electronics I'd like to run something by you before I start trying to control it via the arduino.

Is it correct that the strip (1 meter with 30 LEDs) draws about 400 mA @ 12 V when all LEDs are full on? This is what I got when I connected my multimeter in serial with the strip.

If that's the case I think I will be trying to controll it via a ULN2003 each channel is rated to take a maximum of 500 mA and peaks up to 600 mA.

That is exactly what i did. ULN 2003, and seperate powersupply.

Remember to connect the ground of the ULN2003 to Arduinos ground, otherwise you will get strange results when you try to make "white" light by setting R, G and B to the same value.

I had a bit of trouble understanding how to supply power to the ULN2003 at first. But I think I got it figured out. The ULN2003 will let the current flow through the ports 10-16 when they are triggered by port 1-7. Hence it will be placed AFTER the LED and ground. At first I thought I had to put the ULN2003 before the LEDs in the circuit. The 9th pin on ULN 2003 is only necessary when powering inductive loads such as motors.

This is the layout I came up with, please let me know if there are any serious flaws with it.

That looks right.

I went to IKEA today (NEVER GO TO IKEA ON SATURDAY) and looked at the DIODER...for $50, not worth it. They are nowhere near as bright as the Dealextreme bars. More accurately, all four of the DIODER strips together aren't as bright as one Dealextreme RGB bar. I didn't bother buying a set to measure the current.

In ancient times I belive going to IKEA on a saturday was used as a mild punishment for convicts.

Well there's absolutely no reason what so ever to buy the IKEA DIODER then. Costs nearly five times as much and is about ten times less bright.

Now that I have the Deal Extreme RGB LED strips I must recommend them aswell. Sure delivery wasn't that fast but still within two weeks.



I would like to use this schema with my arduino. I may receive soon the dx strip and an ULN2003.

I wonder how I can use an alimentation I found 12v / 1.2 A.

Can I plug it to the arduino and take the +12V somewhere on the board or should I use it exclusively for the strip with resistors to drop the current from 1.2A to 500mA ?

But maybe In this montage, the ULN2003 should receive 5V and not 12V ?

Hi Franxoois, The short answer would be yes you can, but you shouldn't.

I asked the same question a while back and someone with alot more experience in electronics gave me a good explanation of the reason why I shouldn't do it that way.

Instead I connected my +12V power source with one plug to the arduino and another to the led strip. Just don't forget that the circuit must share ground, otherwise it just won't work.

+--- LED Strip ----+ Power -----| |----- Ground +--- Arduino ------+

Also I think you might have it backwards a bit. A 12V / 1.2 A dc power source does not shoot out 1.2 Amps it's probably the maximum rating for the power source. Don't take my word for this as my knowledge of electronics is quite limited.

Good luck!

Thank you for your answer. So we shouldn't but it works :D

If I understood well, the Vin on the arduino is directly connected to the power plug. So I could connect my power source to the arduino and take the +12V of the LED on the Vin socket ?

Yes you could, but you shouldn't. The problem is, if I recall correctly, that the Arduino might not be able to handle the current needed by the LED-strip.

However you can connect the arduino to the same power source as the LED-strip as I described previously.

Everything is ok.

Now, I would like to add a 3W LED star from on the other pin of the ULN2003.

That led handle 2.9V AND 3.2V and 350mA. How can I drop the 12V to 3V ? What can I use, only resistors ?

I tried to apply U=RI, I found for the resitor 12-2.9 / 0.35 = 27 Ohm that looks strangely low ...