Help refining lighting setup with 4 x 5m RGB LED strips

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Help refining lighting setup with 4 x 5m RGB LED strips

Postby kpsf1964 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:31 pm

Hi all, I'm trying to create an interior backlighting effect for the walls of our shade structure/installation and I'm new to using LED strips. I'm hoping someone can give me a little guidance

I'm looking to set up four RGB LED strips that will have their light patterns synced so that they vary in color in sync. Here's what I THINK I need:

4 x 5m/16ft SMD 5050 RGB LED strips
7 LED extension cables
3 4-pin splitters, two to combine/link the two strips running along each wall, then the third to link the two cables coming out of the 4-pin male end on the other two splitters
A sound-activated LED music controller
A power supply/driver
An AC adapter

My questions are:
- how large a power supply is needed to run 4 LED strips? Time's getting tight and boning up on Ohm's Law is a little beyond me right now . . .
- does dovetailing all four strips / cables so that they feed into one port create any issues, or affect available power for each strip? Alternately, does the increase in run length from the use of extensions affect power output to the strips?
- I've seen data repeater/RGB signal amplifiers for sale on Amazon for as little as $9 - does this bring any value, and if yes, would I need one for each strip?
- lastly, while the prices for all of the components listed above are pretty low, does anyone have any recommendations for where it's important to spend more to ensure the system is relatively bomb-proof? I'm particularly interested in ensuring the LED music controller works, and the ones I've seen on Amazon appear to have mixed reviews . . .
- Lastly, and most importantly - please let me know if this plan is completely ass-up, and if so, what i need to do the sort it...

Many thanks in advance for any input . . . I've added a sketch to make it (hopefully) a little clearer what I have in mind
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Re: Help refining lighting setup with 4 x 5m RGB LED strips

Postby portaplaya » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:34 pm

Take a close look at the strips. The lights are all wired in series. So even if you were to wire the four strips in "parallel" the individual LED sections are still all in series. Thus it doesn't really matter how you wire the strips, except the particulars of controlling the colors for each section.

LED tape runs on 12 volts. That's what your A/C adapter is outputting, I'm fairly sure.

NOTE: I am using about 15 meters of single color LED tape, from a 7 amp/hour 12v battery, with a dimmer for LED tape. Not exactly your set-up, but close enough. This stuff is pretty fool-proof.
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Re: Help refining lighting setup with 4 x 5m RGB LED strips

Postby percussivepaul » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:05 pm

This seems like a reasonable plan. You'll need a 12V power supply. Look at the power ratings on the LED strips and see what the max power is -- maybe 30 W or so -- you would ordinarily then buy a 40W supply and be done. With four strips you need to add up their power requirements, so maybe you need 120W to power the lights so you get a 160W supply. When buying a 12V DC power supply, the rating might be specified in Amps, which is Watts / 12, so a 150W supply is a 12.5 Amp 13.3A DC supply.

Make sure your controller is beefy enough to handle this much power. They will have max power ratings. Little bitty ones might only work with one or two strips.
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Re: Help refining lighting setup with 4 x 5m RGB LED strips

Postby kpsf1964 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:11 am

Thanks, this looks like a good start. We have a contractor in our group and he's in the mix as well. Will post our final setup later for future use.
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