Is it safe plugging car led strips into head unit?

Thread Starter

Allcruize

Joined Nov 3, 2023
9
Hi All, I'm looking to buy a LED USB interior light kit for my car and I had a question. I have a Sony AX5500 head unit and it has 2 usb ports, one is the full speed port (which I believe I use so I can use android auto, and only one of those ports work for it) the other is high speed port. The LED kit is 5v, but it says that the USB ports are the following:

USB port 1 (Hi-speed)
USB port 2 (Full-speed)
Maximum current: USB port 1: 1.5 A
USB port 2: 500 mA

I tried to convert these amps to volts to see if it will work but couldn't find much information. My question is, is this safe to plug into the back of my head unit? And my final question is, it says on the Amazon listing not suitable for cars that are 24 volts, how do I find out if my car is 24 volts and what voltage is it referring to, is it a certain unit in the car or?

Here are some information/references:

LED light kit I'm buying - https://www.amazon.com/Interior-Mul...qid=1699018352&sprefix=car+in,aps,985&sr=8-12

Manual - https://www.sony.com/electronics/su...8eb2d8489fb12e4c646aea88a04c2ce/50104623M.pdf - Page 10 for the USB related information.

This is an image of the back of the head unit - and the USB cable where I plan to plug in the LED light kit 1699018773637.png

I'm probably overthinking it but wanted to double check before I plug it in.
 

geekoftheweek

Joined Oct 6, 2013
1,183
The amazon listing mentions 10 watt which at 5 volts is going to equal 2 amps.

The not suitable for 24 volt vehicles makes absolutely no sense since you are connecting to a 5 volt supply. What is converted to make 5 volts doesn't make a difference. Unless you are driving a large truck or farm tractor somewhere other than North America you will have a 12 volt electrical system.

It's probably meant for plugging in to existing USB ports that are installed on newer cars. As ThePanMan says plug it in to a cell phone charger / USB converter. You're going to want to find one rated at least 10 watts or 2 amps. I would look for at least 15 watt or 3 amps myself.
 

Thread Starter

Allcruize

Joined Nov 3, 2023
9
The amazon listing mentions 10 watt which at 5 volts is going to equal 2 amps.

The not suitable for 24 volt vehicles makes absolutely no sense since you are connecting to a 5 volt supply. What is converted to make 5 volts doesn't make a difference. Unless you are driving a large truck or farm tractor somewhere other than North America you will have a 12 volt electrical system.

It's probably meant for plugging in to existing USB ports that are installed on newer cars. As ThePanMan says plug it in to a cell phone charger / USB converter. You're going to want to find one rated at least 10 watts or 2 amps. I would look for at least 15 watt or 3 amps myself.
Ah ok, my car is a 1998 so it never originally had USB ports. Since it's 5 volts or 2 amps, does that mean the head unit probably wont have enough power to make it work since it's 1.5 amps?
 

geekoftheweek

Joined Oct 6, 2013
1,183
Yes and no. The 2 amps will most likely be with all LEDs at their brightest white setting. If you are doing all red or green or blue that should be the lowest current draw. It will vary from there depending on the intensity of each red, green, and blue section of the LEDs to create the desired color.

It's hard telling what sort of protections your head unit has for overcurrent. I am assuming it is going to have something, but in the end a simple converter is going to be cheaper than a new head unit... especially if it's something worth buying again.
 

Thread Starter

Allcruize

Joined Nov 3, 2023
9
Yes and no. The 2 amps will most likely be with all LEDs at their brightest white setting. If you are doing all red or green or blue that should be the lowest current draw. It will vary from there depending on the intensity of each red, green, and blue section of the LEDs to create the desired color.

It's hard telling what sort of protections your head unit has for overcurrent. I am assuming it is going to have something, but in the end a simple converter is going to be cheaper than a new head unit... especially if it's something worth buying again.
Blue was the only colour I was going to use. What sort of converter are you referring to, is it that cigrette usb thing?
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
757
something like this
Yes.

As for the USB port on the head unit - it may or may not support 2 amps. You could be risking it. I know I can plug my cell phone into it and charge it but I don't know if that's charging at 1.5A. I just don't know what mine is capable of doing. So I use the cigarette lighter 12 volt power outlet plug like you showed. You can even get one of these and wire it up to the main electrical system in the car. I'm assuming the LED kit you have connects via USB. To use the unit I linked you'd have to cut the USB end off and hard wire it in. That way you're not depending on your head unit for anything other than plugging in a memory chip with all your music loaded on it. As for the hard wiring kit - you'll have to cut the ends of both your USB and the plug that comes on the kit and directly wire it to the LED's. Using the fuse kit you can remove a fuse, plug the kit in and plug the fuse back in place without interrupting the function of the fuse you chose. I have that kit for my dash camera. Nothing plugged in and no wires hanging all over the place.
 

Thread Starter

Allcruize

Joined Nov 3, 2023
9
Yes.

As for the USB port on the head unit - it may or may not support 2 amps. You could be risking it. I know I can plug my cell phone into it and charge it but I don't know if that's charging at 1.5A. I just don't know what mine is capable of doing. So I use the cigarette lighter 12 volt power outlet plug like you showed. You can even get one of these and wire it up to the main electrical system in the car. I'm assuming the LED kit you have connects via USB. To use the unit I linked you'd have to cut the USB end off and hard wire it in. That way you're not depending on your head unit for anything other than plugging in a memory chip with all your music loaded on it. As for the hard wiring kit - you'll have to cut the ends of both your USB and the plug that comes on the kit and directly wire it to the LED's. Using the fuse kit you can remove a fuse, plug the kit in and plug the fuse back in place without interrupting the function of the fuse you chose. I have that kit for my dash camera. Nothing plugged in and no wires hanging all over the place.
Ah ok thanks. I was hoping to avoid the cigarette adapter because it looks ugly, with the usb i can tuck it behind.
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
757
Did you click on the link: "these"? It links to the same thing as a cigarette plug-in unit but can be mounted under the dash and you avoid unsightly wiring. Click on the bold underlined link.
 

Thread Starter

Allcruize

Joined Nov 3, 2023
9
Did you click on the link: "these"? It links to the same thing as a cigarette plug-in unit but can be mounted under the dash and you avoid unsightly wiring. Click on the bold underlined link.
Yep saw that, I was thinking of getting an audio guy to hard wire it. I also ended up plugging it into my car, seemed to work fine though my head unit did crash twice.
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
757
I ••• plugg(ed) it into my car, seemed to work fine though my head unit did crash twice.
Not surprised. Those USB ports are not designed for heavy loads. You can probably charge a cell phone from one but likely that may be 1.2 amps. More than that and I'm not surprised it crashed. I wouldn't recommend continuing to attempt to run it that way. Rather, a little modification work on the under dash supply I linked (or one like it) will likely work just fine. Just cut the end of the unit off and cut the end of the USB connector from your lights and wire the positive to the positive and the negative to the negative. It should be just that easy. Then every time you start your car the lights will come on. If you only want them to come on when you turn the lights on then you'll have to find a lights circuit to connect into. There's probably a fuse for "Dash Lights", but that might provide power for the dash lights all the time. The only time the dash lights up is when they're grounded. But you can always add a switch on the dash.
 

Thread Starter

Allcruize

Joined Nov 3, 2023
9
W
Not surprised. Those USB ports are not designed for heavy loads. You can probably charge a cell phone from one but likely that may be 1.2 amps. More than that and I'm not surprised it crashed. I wouldn't recommend continuing to attempt to run it that way. Rather, a little modification work on the under dash supply I linked (or one like it) will likely work just fine. Just cut the end of the unit off and cut the end of the USB connector from your lights and wire the positive to the positive and the negative to the negative. It should be just that easy. Then every time you start your car the lights will come on. If you only want them to come on when you turn the lights on then you'll have to find a lights circuit to connect into. There's probably a fuse for "Dash Lights", but that might provide power for the dash lights all the time. The only time the dash lights up is when they're grounded. But you can always add a switch on the dash.
Will look into it, I ended up getting that usb cigarette adapter temporarily, and it actually looks quite clean, much cleaner than I thought. It sits flush and I can wire the cable right above it so it doesn't stick out.
 
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