LED Strips and Arduino

Hello all,

I am working on a project that involves LED strips and an Arduino + code.

I want to connect about 12-15 meters of 5v LED strips (requiring somewhere around 160 watts at full capacity). Is it possible to solder all of the LED strips together and power the whole segment using the 5v power on one Arduino Uno or other Arduino unit? (12-15 meters connected into one strip).. If not, what would you recommend getting as a external power supply for this project?

These are the LED strips I am using https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I3JO9AQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I am building an infinity mirror cube. On the inside of the cube will be an arduino unit and a power supply if necessary. Each side of the cube will be receiving different code, so there will be 5 clock and 5 data pins.

160W/5V is 32 Amps!!!

If your power supply can supply the power you should be OK. You'll probably need multiple-parallel connections to the power supply (or supplies) with heavy-gauge wires because the resistance of the wires & connections will result in a voltage drop (good 'ol Ohm's Law). For example, if you run a long-string of LED strips, the LEDs at the far-end will usually be dimmer.

I don't agree with the advice for heavy wire. This thing is likely to be small. The furthest LED away from the power supply is going to be under 1 meter. But there will be many power wires. Each segment of strip should get power from a central point, even though the data lines snake through the segments linearly.

160W 5V power supplies do exist. They are not going to be cheap unless you can find a PC power supply that will work for you. Some of them have extremely high current available on the 5V outputs. Persuading them to switch on without an actual PC motherboard attached is often the hardest part.

Please note tha the reason they come in 5 meter strips is because this is the maximum length that they can reliably be powered due to the printed circuit lenght and loss (from the manufacturer).
My former boss wanted to run a 20 meter length down the driveway for cars to follow and got upset when they ran wires to each 5 meter length claiming they 'just wanted to bump the cost up' had to have our electrical engineer explain that the start point would not support 160 watts through the 'itty bitty' copper wire.
Not a bright one my former boss!


Not a bright one my former boss!

Sounds like quite the opposite. He noticed something that he thinks is wrong (extra wiring), then asks someone that knows a lot about the subject matter (the electrical engineer) about why that's the case.
That someone doesn't know all the ins and outs about electricity doesn't make them stupid or so.

He went from an acceptable, excusable ignorant person to a moron as soon as he tacked on the conspiracy about simply being fleeced.

Thanks for the replies!

The strips will be cut into lengths not longer than 24-30 inches. They will each have their own power wires, but I was thinking that I should connect each power wire of each LED strip to the next LED strip and then power all of the strips from one power outlet from the power supply (the power supply is 40A 200W).


Is this the route I should take or is there a different way to connect power to each of the LED strips individually?

A little hard to explain this as I have never tried to do this before. I will be making panels consisting of LED strips no longer than 24-30 inches and need to power each LED strip somehow. There are not enough power connection points on the power supply to attach each power wire ( +, - ) to the power supply individually.

It's a common misconception that you can connect only one wire to one point. If it's a screw terminal (likely, for 40A) you can easily squeeze a few wires in it.

You can of course use a single wire as power rail, and then basically daisy chain them. Just make sure it's a wire that has no problem carrying the full 32A you need - that'd be a 2.5 mm2 for wires in air, or 4 mm2 for wires that are on the surface or otherwise don't have easy heat dissipation.

Is there an electrical component that you would recommend that would enable the transition from multiple +, - wires from the LED strips to one larger +, - wire that connects to the power supply? Wrapping the exposed wires together and soldering and capping them?

Think of a STAR topology.
Where the +/- connections of the power supply go to a terminal strip or barrier connector. —-> Then the separate + and - wires fan out to each LED strip.

The 0V/Gnd wire is also COMMON to the Arduino/driver circuitry.

ADDED: You may consider fuse(s) in the + wires, so that one damaged LED branch doesn’t bring the whole lot down. 32A / 160W in a small space is easily enough to start a ‘thermal event’ (aka Fire) !

Wrapping the exposed wires together and soldering and capping them?