I tried powering the LED strip with a separate 5V power supply while powering the ESP-32 via its USB connection (connected to another USB power supply). While the LEDs came one, I could not control them and could not switch them all off.
When I however power the ESP via it’s USB port and then power the LED strip via the ESP’s 3V and GND pins, everything seems to work just fine. I am just not sure if the LEDs are as bright as they could be.
All this does not make sense to me as I would have thought a separate 5V power supply for the LED strip should have worked.
Just to make sure that I understand correctly. I only need the logic shifter if driving the strip from the 3V pin on the ESP32. If I drive the strip from it’s own 5V source then I just need to join the grounds? Is this is correct then is a separate 5V source better than using a shifter?
You should have a level shifter either way. The Esp only outputs 3.3v data from it’s gpio pins. LEDs look for 5v data. The level shifter will boost the 3.3 to 5v. You may be able to get away without one but one is recommended. Not all LEDs are created equal and while some may be more tolerant to under voltage on the data line others may not be.
Thanks again, just two more questions. In the schematic below I see the ESP showing a 3.3V and 5V link to the level shifter. Am I reading this correctly and if so what if the ESP does not have a 5V out?
I’m not 100% sure, but I think VCCA needs to go to the 3.3v pin and VCCB needs to go to the 5v. If not using A2 I think it needs to be tied to ground. Might want to wait for @divsys as these ‘other’ shifters are more in his wheelhouse.
That 62 Ohm resistor I would have either multiple options (33, 62, 249) or leave it out. Depending on the situation different resistor values may be needed (or none needed).