Do I want 12V strips? (if so, need recommendations an RGBW)

Hi, everyone,

I realize voltage drop-off is a concern for longer strips. Is it noticeable on an 8’ length with 5V strips?

If so, what would you recommend for a 12V RGBW strip?

Much thanks!


Hi @dkindred,

I don’t have any experience with 5v strips, but in my opinion 12v is the way to go. Pixelblaze will control quite a few types, but the WS versions have worked for me. The WS2814 strips have a backup data line, which can come in handy if one of the pixels dies. You’ll have to repair it, but at least the lights will still be on.

Hi, @mnielsen

Thanks for your reply. I’m with you, the 12V seems to be the way to go, but I wasn’t able to identify a 60 LED/meter strip that still used only 3 conductors instead of 5 for RGBW. I looked pretty hard, and finally gave up and got the 5V ones. I figure, they’re not that expensive, so I’ll use it as a stop-gap measure until I can find some higher-density 12V ones. Voltage drop is a serious consdieration, and there’s not much wiggle room with the 5V ones.

Thanks again for replying!

8’? Nah man, you’re good. That’s nothing. I’d have to double check but from my understanding, it’s once you start getting to around 30’ where you start running in to trouble and power injection. I use 5V for about everything but most of my runs have been 10-15’ at most so it hasn’t a problem.

@Shakes999 Thanks for the real-world experience perspective! This is terrific news, maybe the 5V lights can be the long-term solution, then. Ben gave me some practical advice to help minimize the voltage loss on the 25’ or so of power feed to the strips, so I might be good to go.

For background, we’re doing a kitchen remodel and I’m going to be adding these LED’s inside some upper cabinets (3 distinct cabinet groups). I think my loving bride will usually want to see them illuminated in white to match the rest of the kitchen, but I thought it would be a lot of fun to run some Pixelblaze animations in the cabinets as an indication of weather conditions. Think blue skies with white areas for clouds for nice days, flashing lightning for rainy weather, oranges for hot days, etc. I also thought it would be fun to simultae the sunrise and sunset in the cabinets, timed for real life. These are all fun things for me–my wife will probably only like them when they’re plain white. Girls! But, she’s been putting up with me for 30 years, so I still feel blessed.

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I found this video very helpful when looking into this originally. I ultimately ended up going with 12v so I did not need to run as much wire. but will still end up needing to inject at some point depending on how long the strings are. Power Injection and RGB Pixel Data - 2017 Sydney Mini - YouTube

Thanks @jayzonhe3, I appreciate it!