Mean Well LED Switching Power Supply Hookup Guide

Contributors: bboyho
Favorited Favorite 3


In this tutorial, we will be connecting a Mean Well LED switching power supply (5V/25W or 5V/40W) to an addressable LED strip controlled by an Arduino.

Mean Well LED Switching Power Supply - 5VDC, 5A


Mean Well LED Switching Power Supply - 5VDC, 8A

1 Retired

Required Materials

To follow along with this tutorial, you will need the following materials with the Mean Well 5V power supply. This is assuming that you are using the wall adapter cable for 120VAC. For the load, we will be using an addressable LED strip. You may not need everything though depending on what you have. Add it to your cart, read through the guide, and adjust the cart as necessary.

Terminal Block - 3 Position (15A, 600V)

1 Retired
Terminal Block - 6 Position (15A, 600V)

Terminal Block - 6 Position (15A, 600V)


iPixel Wall Adapter Cable - Two Terminal (NA)


Skinny LED RGB Strip - Addressable, 1m, 60LEDs (SK6812)


Suggested Tools

Depending on your setup, you may need a soldering iron, solder, and general soldering accessories. Otherwise, a screw terminal block and a screw driver is sufficient.

Digital Multimeter - Basic

Digital Multimeter - Basic

Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

SparkFun Mini Screwdriver

SparkFun Mini Screwdriver


Weller WLC100 Soldering Station

2 Retired

You will also need:

  • Electrical Tape
  • Surge Protector

Suggested Reading

If you aren’t familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out these tutorials before continuing.

Voltage, Current, Resistance, and Ohm's Law

Learn about Ohm's Law, one of the most fundamental equations in all electrical engineering.

How to Power a Project

A tutorial to help figure out the power requirements of your project.

Working with Wire

How to strip, crimp, and work with wire.

Electric Power

An overview of electric power, the rate of energy transfer. We'll talk definition of power, watts, equations, and power ratings. 1.21 gigawatts of tutorial fun!

WS2812 Breakout Hookup Guide

How to create a pixel string with the WS2812 and WS2812B addressable LEDs!

How to Use a Multimeter

Learn the basics of using a multimeter to measure continuity, voltage, resistance and current.

Hardware Overview

The Mean Well APV-35 and LPV-60 series power supplies were designed to power LEDs. They include wire pairs for the input (brown and blue) and output (red and black). The input voltage requires an AC power cable to be connected that is not included with the power supply. The APV-35-5 provides 5V with up to 5.0A. The LPV-60-5 provides 5V with up to 8.0A.

APV-35 Series 5V/5A LPV-60 Series 5V/8A
APV-35 Series LPV-60 Series


Mean Well Power Supply Notes
ACL (Brown) Input AC Voltage, Live/Hot wire
ACN (Blue) Input AC Voltage, Neutral Wire, Wider Blade on Wall Outlet Side
V+ (Red) Output Voltage (DC)
V- (GND, Black) Output Ground (DC)

Hardware Assembly

Hookup Table

The following is the hookup table for connecting a wall adapter cable to a Mean Well power supply and then to your load. Ensure that the cable is not connected to a wall outlet when making the following connections between the cable and Mean Well power supply!

120VAC Outlet (North American Standard) Mean Well Power Supply Load (i.e. LED Strips) Notes
LIVE/HOT Wire (Black) ACL (Brown) Input AC Voltage, Live/Hot wire
NEUTRAL Wire (White) ACN (Blue) Input AC Voltage, Neutral Wire, Wider Blade on Wall Outlet Side
V+ (Red) 5V Output Voltage (DC)
V- (GND, Black) GND Output Ground (DC)

Connecting the AC Input Voltage w/ Screw Terminals

Before beginning, make sure the power cable is unplugged from the wall outlet. Carefully remove the plastic cover on the terminal block by wiggling it back and forth from the black housing.

Remove Plastic Cover

Insert the hot wire's spade connector into a terminal block between the metal plates.

Insert Spade Connector Between Metal Plates Inserted Spade Connector Between Metal Plates

Tighten the screw. Pull wire gently to see if it is secure.

Tighten Screws on Terminal Blocks

Repeat for the neutral wire's spade connector.

Insert Mean Well Power Supply's Neutral Wire

Connect the hot wire to the Mean Well's hot wire by inserting the wire between the metal plates and tightening the screw.

Insert Mean Well Power Supply's Hot Wire

Remember to pull the wire gently to see if the connection is secure.

Pull Wire to Check If Secure

Repeat for the input neutral wire.

Repeat for Neutral Wire

Connecting the DC Output Voltage w/ Screw Terminals

Connect your Mean Well power supply's output ground wire to one side of the terminal block.

Connect DC Output Ground

Connect the output voltage's wire to another screw terminal.

Connect DC Output Voltage

Connect your load wires to the other side of the Mean Well output voltage.

Connect Load

Other Methods of Connecting to the Mean Well Power Supply

You can also splice the wires or use spade connectors depending on your preference. If you decide to connect with a spade connector, make sure that you are using the correct tool to properly crimp the connection. Needle nose pliers may not provide sufficient force to clamp the spade connector against the wires. Ensure that the power cable is unplugged from the wall outlet.

Connect Spade Connectors

Remember to insulate your connections with electrical tape or heat shrink so that the connections are not exposed.

Insulate Wires for VAC

Once connected, make sure to test it out with a multimeter and surge protector before installing.

Testing the Output

Let's test the power supply using a multimeter to see if we connected everything properly! To safely test, we will be using alligator clips, probes, and a breadboard to measure the output voltage to see if we get our expected voltage. If you are confident in your connections, you can also connect a multimeter's alligator clips directly to the output. Insert the two prong cable into a surge protector that is turned OFF. When ready, flip the switch on your surge protector to the ON position to provide power.

Testing the APV-35 Series Output voltage Testing the LPV-60 Series Output Voltage
Testing the APV-35 Series Output Voltage Testing the LPV-60 Series Output Voltage

If you are measuring a voltage that is close to your Mean Well power supply's output voltage rating, you are good to go!

Adding a Load

Remove power and connect your load to the output. In this case, I decided to power an addressable LED strip using an Arduino and custom built shield.

Adding an LED Strip as a Load Powered LED Strip

For safety and installation, make sure to add electrical tape around the exposed input voltage side and mount the electronics securely in an enclosure.

Big Red Box - Enclosure

Big Red Box - Enclosure


Power Large Loads and Daisy Chained LED Strips

When daisy chaining your addressable LED strips, there may be a voltage drop depending on the:

  • amount of LEDs connected
  • length of LED strip
  • how bright the LEDs are set
  • animation

Below is an image of addressable LED strips daisy chained together and controlled by Arduino. The Arduino was programmed to turn on all the LEDs at full brightness using one 5V/25W power supply as an extreme case.

Daisy Chained LED Strips

As you can see from the image below, the LEDs are not able to fully turn on after a certain length due to the voltage drop. This is due to the increased resistance as you move further away from the power supply. You may notice that not all the colors are turned on or the strip becomes dim. You can also check the voltage after each meter using a multimeter to see if there are any voltage drops if you are not able to visually see the voltage drops.

Voltage Drops with Daisy Chained LED Strips with RGB Colors Turnned on at Full Brightness

If you see voltage drops and the LED strip not properly turning on, you will need to connect the Mean Well's output between each LED strip's Vcc and GND after about 1, 2, or 5 meters. Your circuit may look similar to this setup if you daisy chain the LED strip and inject power between each cable.

Daisy Chained LED Strips

Click image for a closer view.

Once connected, your power supply should have a connection between each LED strip.

Power Injection Between LED Strips

As you can see from the image below, the LEDs throughout the strip are able to fully turn on when connecting power between each LED strip.

LEDs Fully Turned On at Full Brightness as Expected

Again, turning on all the LEDs at full brightness is an extreme case. You may be able get away with injecting power after more than a few meters if your setup uses a lower brightness setting and sequencing the LEDs.

LED Strips with Lower Brightness and Animated

Resources and Going Further

Now that you've successfully got your Mean Well power supply up and running, it's time to incorporate it into your own project!

For more information, check out the resources below:

Need some inspiration for your next project? Check out some of these related tutorials:

RGB Panel Hookup Guide

Make bright, colorful displays using the 32x16, 32x32, and 32x64 RGB LED matrix panels. This hookup guide shows how to hook up these panels and control them with an Arduino.

Large Digit Driver Hookup Guide

Getting started guide for the Large Digit display driver board. This tutorial explains how to solder the module (backpack) onto the back of the large 7-segment LED display and run example code from an Arduino.

How to Build a Remote Kill Switch

Learn how to build a wireless controller to kill power when things go... sentient.

Building a Safe Cracking Robot

How to crack an unknown safe in under an hour.

Or check out some of these blog posts about power supplies