Adequately Powering LEDs

Managing power for LED installations can appear daunting during project scoping, but it doesn’t have to be. Here is a quick guide on figuring how large of a power supply you need for your next LED project!

1 – Find the voltage of your LEDs:

The voltage required by your LEDs is the starting point when selecting a power supply. Typically, LEDs are sold at 5V, 12V, and 24V. Check your product packaging or data-sheet to see what your LEDs are rated at. All of the pixels we sell at Jolt Lighting are 12V modules.

2 – Select length of installation:

You will need to know how long your LEDs will be to properly calculate power requirements. Measure your strips and be as accurate as possible. If using individual pixel strands, you will need the full count of pixels in your strings, not the total length of your strands. See more about this in step 3.

3 – Find LED wattage requirements:

Individual pixels, like Jolt Lighting’s E-40, Bullet, or Ice Cube pixel strands, are measured as wattage per module. LED strips are measured as wattage per foot.

If you are unsure, the easiest way to determine wattage is by multiplying amperage by voltage.

Amperage(I) x Voltage(V) = Wattage(P)

For example, if your LED modules are each 5V and require 2A, the wattage is 10W (2A x 5V = 10W) per module. For an LED strip, you would just check the packaging or data-sheet to see how many watts per foot.

4 – Multiply to find wattage for power supply:

Take your length of installation and multiply it by the product wattage to find out the required wattage for your power supply, then add 15% to provide a cushion to make sure you are sending enough power to your LEDs.

Let’s say in our example you are using 12V LED strips, the full length of your installation is 20’, and the strips are 1.44W per foot.

20’ x 1.44W = 28.8W (required)
28.8W (required) * 0.15 (cushion) = 4.32W
28.8W (required) + 4.32W (cushion) = 33.12W

Here you would look for a 35W power supply to adequately power your installation.

Send us an email if you would like to talk more about power consumption for your next installation, and how Jolt Lighting can help you make it awesome!

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