Power Consumption Tracking

Is it possible to track the power consumption of a pattern? There are times when I’d like to know how many amps a particular pattern will draw so I can modify the pattern/brightness so that it falls safely within the ability of my current power source.

I will be using PixelBlaze as light painting wand, so there are times when I’d like to get by with using a battery with under 2 amps, but sometimes I’d like to plug it in to a 9amp supply and really crank it up.

If I could monitor power consumption, then I could create patterns appropriate to particular power sources. as a side note, it would be fine if it only appeared in the pattern editing window as an inspected variable. the only.

Power depends a lot on the LED its driving, and there are tons of clones. The best way is to measure it, e.g. with a multimeter.

One big complicating factor it is the HSV model which is commonly used in patterns. You can’t e.g. just take the v from hsv and use it to figure out power since a saturation of 0 will often draw more power than a saturation of 1. Now mix in LED types. The RGBW will draw the same or less instead of more! As will something like the WS2815, which puts RGB in series. You also have idle current draw to factor in.

So it’s really hard to get right through theory, but relatively easy to test empirically with a meter.

FWIW - FOR USB - i like a an older DROK USB meter, there are many similar brands/clones in the 10$ - 20$ range now.

Just plug it inline with the USB cable, and you can see your consumption in real time. Turn on all of the LEDs and adjust the max brightness setting to a value that will not exceed your source and your all set.


Yeah, I bought a few from Amazon, some fancier than others (little color OLED screen is nifty), all very inexpensive. Recommended.

I use a Z-Wave switch to control and track the Power