In terms of installation and setup, LED strips are not as simple as traditional incandescent bulbs. Most LED strips have built-in drivers or resistors to adjust the current, and they generally run on low-voltage direct current. In this case, you need a power supply device to convert 120V/240V alternating current (depending on the voltage matching of your country/region, 120V AC in North America, 240V AC in Europe, etc.) into a voltage signal that can be used by the LED strip.
This article will introduce five simple steps to help you choose the right led power supply for your LED strip project!
Step 1-check the input voltage of the LED strip
Most of the LED strips available on the market operate at 12V DC, the others are mainly 24V DC, and a few are 48V DC. It is important to check the input voltage, because the wrong voltage input may cause malfunctions or other safety hazards.
- The input voltage of the LED strip is usually specified in the product specification, as shown in the figure below.
- If you are still unsure, you can also check the product to confirm this. As shown in the figure below, most LED strips have a mark indicating 12V or 24V.
If the input voltage of the LED strip in your hand is 12V DC, the output voltage of the led power supply that matches it should also be 12VDC. The picture below is the product label of LMQ Tech’s 12v led power supply.
Extra tip: also make sure that the input voltage on the AC side matches the voltage of your country/region.
Step 2-Check the power consumption of the LED strip
This step is very important to determine how much power you need. If you don’t have enough power to light up your light strips, they may appear dim, flicker, or not light up at all. The power consumption of each LED strip can be found in the product specifications.
In our continued example, a 12V input, 4.8W/M light strip will be used, as shown in the figure below.
Step 3-Calculate the estimated power consumption of the LED strip
This calculation is important for determining the size of the led power supply required. The value depends on the type and length of the LED strip.
Suppose our project uses 10M long 12V input, 4.8W/M LED strip
Then the total wattage (W) is 4.8W/M* 10M = 48W
Use the formula P = V x A to calculate the amperage (A) as 48W / 12V =4.0A
On the electrical side, we now know that at 12V, 10 meters of this LED strip light will consume about 48 watts or about 4.0 amps.
Step 4-Confirm the selected led strip power supply wattage
If you want to run more than one lamp on a led power supply, you must add the wattages to find the total wattage used. In order to ensure a large enough power supply, when selecting a led power supply device, it is best to use only 80% of the maximum rated power to extend the service life of the power supply and keep it cool to prevent overheating. This is called derating.
For example, the wattage of the system that we use 10 meters of the LED strip is 48 watts, 48 / 0.8 = 60 watts, that a 60 watt (or higher) led power supply is sufficient for this project.
Step 5-Recommend your purchase of led strip power supply
Once you know the required voltage and minimum wattage, you can choose the led power supply. In our example, we determined that we need a 60W 12V led strip power supply. Depending on your installation, you can choose from 4 different types of led strips power supply.
- H series or B series non-dimmable led strips power supply
H series led strip power supply, easy to install, IP20 suitable for indoor use, 3 years warranty.
B series led strip power supply, sturdy and durable, IP68 for outdoor use, high power output, long warranty period (5-year warranty).
Recommend you to buy 12v led power supply 60W 5A non-dimmable
- R series or W series dimmable led strips power supply
0-10V/1-10V dimming, PWM dimming, TRIAC (Phase-Cut) dimming and DALI dimming led strips power supply are all available.
R series dimmable led strip power supply, stable and no flicker, IP20 suitable for indoor use, 3 years warranty.
W series dimmable led strip power supply, sturdy and durable, IP68 for outdoor use, high power output, 3 years warranty.
Recommend you to buy 12v led power supply 60W 5A dimmable