Non-Addressable RGB LED Strip Hookup Guide
Add color to your projects with the non-addressable LED strips! These are perfect if you want to add uniform lighting for your props, car, fish tank, or perhaps under cabinet lighting in your home.
To follow along with this tutorial, you will need the following materials. The partial wishlist on the left is for a basic connection with an Arduino. It does not include the potentiometer and buttons. The full wishlist on the right is for the full circuit for additional functionality. 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.
To make the most out of your LED strip, you will need a microcontroller. The easiest would be to use the RedBoard Qwiic but you can use any Arduino microcontroller as long as it has a minimum of three PWM pins.
To power your LEDs, you will need a 12V power supply. The amount of current needed depends on the length and density of the LED strip. Below are a few options if you are powering the LEDs from a wall outlet in an installation. You could also use a 9V power supply. It may not be as bright but your LED strip will not be as hot.
Wires and Connectors
The stranded wires from the non-addressable do not have a connector. For prototyping you could use alligator clips with male headers. However, it would be easier to use a polarized connector like the ones from the 4-wire pigtail connector to easily connect and disconnect from your controller.
If you are using a microcontroller to control the strip, you will need transistors to control each channel. For small lengths, you could use NPN transistors. For longer lengths, you could use n-channel mosfets. Just make sure to get the associated resistors depending on your transistor.
For options to adjust the color and brightness of your LED strip, you could use the following with a microcontroller.
You will need a soldering iron, solder, and general soldering accessories. You may also need some wire strippers if you are cutting and reusing parts of the strip.
If you aren’t familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out these tutorials before continuing. If you are looking to customize the control by programming a microcontroller, we recommend looking at the SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino.