Help a newbie with an rgb project

Hi every one, I am the new guy :roll_eyes: I have come to ask some advice on a project I am researching. I would like to make an rgb matrix for my kids gaming room and have just started reading up and watching tutorials but still getting a little tied up in the details. I have some basic experience with LED's and RGB's but nothing on this scale. I would like to make a matrix containing around 2000 ws2812b RGB's but am struggling with the power supply to them all. I understand that I would need to add power to the matrix at different points to account for power loss and I am guessing the same with the data cable to account for signal loss? Has anybody got a simple way to explain the power I would need for this project and the easiest way to wire it up? Any help for a newbie would greatly recieved ;D

So sorry I forgot to mention that I Will be using ws2812b 144/m leds

We used to recommend 60mA per led. So that would be 120A of power supply(s) in total. But it seems that the maximum consumption is usually somewhat less than that, and varies quite a bit between manufacturers. So it’s hard to know until you get a small sample of the strip and can measure the actual current consumption when all the LEDs are at max brightness white.

Also, in practice, depending on the patterns and colours you want to use, you will probably never want all 2000 LEDs to be full brightness white at the same time. It would be dazzlingly bright!

So, again its best to start with a small sample of the strip and try out a good range of the colours, brightness, patterns, animations etc that you want to use and measure the actual current consumed, then scale that up for 2000 LEDs.

The FastLED library has a useful feature for power management. You can specify the maximum power or current you have available, and if the total requirement exceeds that at any point in a sequence/animation, the overall brightness will be reduced automatically to avoid overloading your power supply.

thanks for the reply, I was looking into 2 x 5V 60A PS, but I will only ever run the matrix at 50% brightness so was hoping to get away with just the one 60A PS. Also any thoughts on wiring? it will be just a square panel with the strips vertically.

Many thanks for the advice

How big will this panel be? For 2000 LEDs I assume 40 by 50 LEDs. Close-spaced matrices could be a problem with heat dissipation - subject of another discussion here recently. :astonished:

Logically, you feed power in the centre, with a "bus" running across all the strips at that point which means that no LED is more than 45 steps away. It makes sense to parallel power connections along the ends of each row and take the power out to that parallel "bus" as well.

Now it is undesirable to run the data line from the end of one row back to the other end to start the next row. the matrix libraries provide for the data to be simply run from the end of one row to the next row directly below or above so the rows "zig-zag" in alternate directions. Since you have the ends of each row paralleled, you are complying with the requirement that the data connection always has a ground connection going along with it.

2000 LEDs too much for a UNO/ Nano/ Pro Mini.

so the rows "zig-zag" in alternate directions.

This is known as a serpentine raster. Because it snakes along.

Note that depending on if you have he first LED in one of each corner, and the second to on side or up or down from that there are eight different ways to wire up a serpentine raster.