Initially I tried hooking up a power supply to the 3v3 pin to power the arduino. However nothing happened. So I connected it to the 5v and it worked perfectly. Maybe the 3v3 pin does something different?
I'm only connecting a digitan pin to the data pin of the led strip. I don't believe it has much power draw at all. The entire arduino is using 9ma @ 3.3v when controlling the lights. 2ma when it goes into deepsleep mode.
I switched to 3.3v for a few reasons. It uses less power, the active buzzer I have is 3v, it's able to interact with a sim/gps module as it supports 4.5v max (in the future), and now that I'll be using a mosfet - I don't need 5v like for the reed?
I'm very bewildered why the aduino uses less power at 5v. It's like 25ma 5v vs 8ma 3.3v (without lights)