question on powering RGB LED's

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by gottcha646, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. gottcha646

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    hello every one, im thinking about starting a new project were i am going to make a jacket that's covered in RGB LED's. I do have BASIC knowledge on electrical circuits but im not familiar some of the terminology used on the specs of the RGB LED's/RGB LED controller and i have and never wired up LED's before.
    yes i did research some of the terms used and what they mean but im still a little lost.

    so what im wondering is with the LED's i might be using (link below) how many LED's could i run off of one RGB LED controller (link below) before they pull too much or until i need a data repeater/amplifier or something along those lines (wired in a parallel type circuit). also sense i have never really wired up LED's before im not to sure if i need resistors or mow many i may need and at which points i will need them.

    LED's i might be using -

    LED controller -

    thanks in advanced, i am sorry if what i am trying to ask might be a little bit confusing and if i do this project i will post some pictures.
  2. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    It looks like each channel of that controller is rated to 2 amps, and that those LEDs are rated to 20mA. So at the max ratings, each channel can light 100 LED strings (more than 1 in series, up to 3).

    But of course you don't want to design to use either the LEDs or the controller at the max. I think shooting for 10mA per LED chain and 1A total per channel is reasonable. You still get 100 strings of 3 LEDs, give or take a few. Maybe too conservative, but it's better to err on the safe side and have some wiggle room.

    You definitely need current limiting resistors, as few as 1 per string of 3 LEDs (meaning 3 x 1/3 of each RGB LED, these 3 could be different colors, but will be the same brightness at any one time, well actually the same current) and as many as 1 per each color of each LED or 3 per RGB LED. The different colors will need different values, so your exact needs will depend on the patterns you need and effects you want. You need to ensure that no color segment of any LED will ever see more than your targeted current of 10mA or so.
    gottcha646 likes this.
  3. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
    gottcha646 likes this.
  4. gottcha646

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    ok that helps quite a bit and now im not really sure on how i can go about doing this because i dont want like 10 rgb controllers strapped to me.

    any ideas?