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Old 03-23-2013, 11:40 AM   #1
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12volt inverter???


I have a buddy that bought some 12v LED tape lights, but they didn't come with the inverters. He has decided he doesn't need them all, so I was thinking of taking some of them off his hands, but need an inverter.

I have several old inverters, but not sure if they'll work or if I'll mess something up. I've been trying to search on google, but not really sure where to start. What I have are the ones come with phones and such. They are all 12v output, so that part should be good, but what I don't know is the milliamp part of the equation. I think the biggest one(s) I have are 500ma. Any chance these would work, if I plug them in and try???

I believe he said the lights are 2amp per strip and I'd only use 1 strip per inverter.

My guess is the 500ma, might power them on, but not give full power to them, am I correct? Will it hurt to try them?

If it matters, these are the 5050 strip lights that work off a remote control and change colors. I thought might be fun somewhere in my daughters bedrooms.....

The kits I've seen with the inverers all have fairly large looking ones, which makes me think that may be an issue. Thanks for any help or direction on where to look!

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Old 03-23-2013, 01:07 PM   #2
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12volt inverter???


EDIT.....each color is 2amp max load and there are 3 colors of LED's on the strips. The control box for the lights says 6Amp Max, so while I haven't hooked to one of my inverters, I'm guessing they won't work and that I need an inverter capable of that.

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Old 03-23-2013, 01:53 PM   #3
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12volt inverter???


Hi Brian. An inverter takes battery power (DC) and changes it to alternating current (AC). What you need is one of these other types of Power Supplies: AC Adapter, AC/DC Converter or just a Transformer.

500 milliamps is .5 amps. You try to supply 2 or god forbid 6 amps from that and it will melt off the wall. Or at least get very hot and smoke.

To reuse a power supply 5 things have to match. For a list and explanation go to this article

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_adapter

and scroll down to the reuse section.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:11 PM   #4
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12volt inverter???


Glenn covered it pretty good.....

Unless you have experience with this stuff....use cation trying to home brew your own setup.

The only way your going to get less brightness is to drop the voltage....you can't just supply 500ma and expect it to work....that 500ma also has to have a reduced voltage to match. The actual current draw will be dictated by the operating resistance of the LED strip.

Like Glenn said, you don't need and inverter, but rather a step down transformer. Also use caution if you want to try and dim the lights....some LED's do not lend themselves to being dimmed....
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:20 PM   #5
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12volt inverter???


If you want to save the headaches, for $33 you can get a complete kit.

http://www.amazon.com/LEDwholesalers.../dp/B0040FJ27S
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
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12volt inverter???


I was thinking inverter wasn't the correct term, but for some reason it was stuck in my mind. Yes, an adapter is what I'm looking for. I don't want to dim the lights with the adapter, I just want to supply the correct volts and amps.

I saw one on amazon, that seems to be for these lights, but it only stated it was 4amps, so I'll keep looking. Any dimming, etc, is done via the remote!
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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12volt inverter???


Did some research on this, found the company these lights appear to have come from and this is what I found for the remote/control part, which is what I need the power supply for. Looks like 6A, is the max and that it should work with anywhere from 0-6Amps. Would that mean that my 12V wall plug/adapter, should work, or do I still run the risk of burning it up?

Specifications:
Input Voltage: 12VDC
Input Current: 0-6A
Output Voltage: 12VDc
Output Current: 2A max each color
Connect Mode: Common Anode
Remote powered by 1x 3V CR2025 lithium battery
Working temperature: -20~60C
Work with 12VDC output power supply, DC plug dimension: 5.5*2.1mm
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
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12volt inverter???


My adapter has a matching plug and it states the following:
INPUT: 120C AC 60Hz
OUTPUT: 12VDC500mA Max:6VA
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:55 AM   #9
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12volt inverter???


Your 500ma plug packs will not work !
You need minimum 2000ma !
your only 1/4 of the way there.
You will have to find bigger ones !
probably electronic ones.
there's plenty out there !
go looking !

12v @ 2a
or
12v @ 2000ma
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:27 PM   #10
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12volt inverter???


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
Your 500ma plug packs will not work !
You need minimum 2000ma !
your only 1/4 of the way there.
You will have to find bigger ones !
probably electronic ones.
there's plenty out there !
go looking !

12v @ 2a
or
12v @ 2000ma
My friend just found one on ebay that is supposedly for these lights and rated at 12v @ 6a for about $9. He ordered one and we will try it.

As for mine, I hope this doesn't sound argumentative, as I am here to learn and know I've done it correct, but why shouldn't mine work? The reason I ask is that I finally gave in and gave it a shot and it did power the lights on, they change color and turn white, which is all 3 colors on at once, blink, strobe, etc... On these strips each LED segment is 3 different colors, each with a 2amp max input, so that gives the max of 6amp for the entire setup. I hope I'm saying that correctly! Then the specs for the contol box say 0-6amps max power. I realize my 500mA, would be on the low side, but wouldn't that be in the 0-6amp range?

Like I said, I did try it, it did power on and seems to work, maybe with a slight blink of some colors. The wall plug/trans did get a little warm, but nothing uncomfortable to touch, not sure if that's normal or a sign of overheating.

Since these are going around the windows in my daughters rooms, I didn't leave them hooked up as of yet as I don't want to burn their rooms down. I am just curious how to understand this a bit more.

Thanks for the help...
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:07 PM   #11
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12volt inverter???


Well, I've some more digging and this is what I've found:
Superbright 5050 SMD RGB LED, high intensity and reliability
Non-Waterproof flexible LED strip
30 SMD RGB LEDs per meter, total 150 LEDs for 5 meters
Self-adhesive back with double side adhesive tape
Maintenance free, easy installation
Every 3-LED cutable without damaging the rest strip
Flexible ribbon for curving around bends
Ultra-bright but running at low temperature
Input volts: DC 12V (12V 4A-5A for 5meters 5050 150LED light strip)
Viewing Angle : 120
Long life span 50,000+ hours
So, based on that, I need between 4 and 5Amps. Since the control box to switch colors is 6A max, I guess that would be my high side, but I think I'll just order some 5A adapters.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:02 AM   #12
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12volt inverter???


Run them off DC not AC, that way you wont get the flickering. Try a 12v battery as a test then buy a computer power supply to power them all off the same unit.

I've heard you can even do this with those plug in LED Christmas lights, but I never tried it myself. Of course that's assuming they don't have some kind of rectifier built in that specifically wants 120vac. Would also need a source of 120vdc for those.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:24 AM   #13
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12volt inverter???


Finding power adapters online is very easy. Chances are, you can find a 12 volt adapter online. An E-bay search turned up hundreds of hits for 12 volt adapters. Just make sure the output is 2000mA or higher. One other point to be aware of with LED's and that is that they are very sensitive to voltage. Too much, and they fail! Many supposedly 12 volt adapters are actually 14 volts? Why? Well, automobile alternators actually produce 14 volts, not 12. The extra 2 volts is needed to overcome the internal resistance of the 12 volt battery and actually charge it. Since most automotive accessories in the past were optimized to run off of 14 volts (because that what you get when the engine is on) the power adapters were built to produce this.

Case in point are the many high current power supplies made by Astron to power mobile amateur radio gear. They are designed so you can connect a deep-cycle battery in line with the radio so that it will continue to operate if there's a loss of grid power.

Also, make sure you find a *regulated* power adapter too! Most power adapters that are designed to power modern electronics, like from a laptop computer, or a TV are regulated and are true 12 volt power supplies. Just whatever you buy, cut the connector off, strip the wires back, and test them for polarity and proper voltage, and then you are ready to connect the wires to your LED strips


Last edited by av-geek; 03-26-2013 at 08:27 AM.
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