Help for installing SK6812 LED strip with ESP32 and WLED

Hello everyone,

I come to this community which seems very friendly and competent so that you can shed some light on it. As a beginner in the world of LED strips, I have everything to learn ^^

I want to create ambient lighting using a 5M SK6812 RGBW addressable 60Led/M LED strip.
I’m going to section it to make 5 segments of 1 meter and put them in parallel.

I will power it with a 5V 50A 250W power supply

For the controller side I will use an ESP32 with WLED.

I have many qustions :

  • Is my wiring correct?

  • Can I connect my strips in parallel?

  • Which pin of the ESP32 should I connect the DIN of the LED strip to?

I am open to any help and advice you can give me.

Thank you in advance.

The general power wiring diagram you have shown is correct.

There are some details that may need improvement (wire sizes, fuses, etc) for reliability and/or safety depending on the maximum distances.

As far as data wiring, you have all 5 strips connected in parallel to a single GPIO. That means all 5 strips will display the same patterns/effects/etc. If that’s what you intend for your application, it can be made to work. You’ll need a buffer of some kind to allow you to drive more than 2 or 3 strips from a single GPIO.
You can also set the strips up in a traditional DOut->DIn setup so that the output of one string feeds the input of the next (this needs only 1 GPIO). Alternatively, you could use multiple GPIOs, one for each strip. You can easily make sure that all strips display the same effects through the WLED software rather than limiting yourself to a hard wired arrangement.

In general, you want to include a level shifter on your data line from the MCU to the strip. That shifter can also be setup to parallel outputs if that’s what you end up needing.

Hello and thank you very much for your response.

I was thinking of using 0.50 or 0.75 mm² wire but I think it is more judicious to use 0.75…?
The length of each cable will be on average 1 meter for the highest positioned ribbon and 60cm for the lowest.

For the wiring and thanks to your explanation I am thinking of using several GPIOs.
Is there a preference? (I share with you the diagram of my ESP32)
So I need 5 GPIO pins, each connected to an LED strip.

If I understood correctly I could subsequently synchronize the 5 LED strips at the same time or separately using WLED, is that right?

Thanks again

For power wiring, I’d pick the larger size even though your runs are short.

As far as GPIOs, the ESP32 gives you a bunch of choices - this page has a good table of the choices: ESP32 pinouts

Once WLED is told what GPIOs to use for LEDs, they appear to you as one long string. You can then use segments to control different pices of that string. The knowledge base has some good info: Segments. Grouping combines multiple LEDs to show the same data, while spacing (in your setup) lets them be on different strips.

Tip: Basically anything Green (OK) from divsys’s link should work (aside from the ones that say input only)

Great ! Many thanks for your answers which will help me enormously in the coming days.

I’m impatiently waiting for my LED strip and the diffuser to get started on connecting and configuring the system.

I will keep you informed of the project as soon as possible.

Hello everyone,

first of all, a big thank you because I was able to make my connection and it works.

The result, on the other hand, is disappointing because I thought that the diffuser would better diffuse the light from the LEDs.

So I’m coming back to you to find out if I can control LED strips with Wled. Optional FCOB LED light strip I RGBW IC, WS2814, addressable, 784 diodes, 10mm, DC 24V, SK6812, RA90, IP30

This would allow me to have a much prettier neon rendering.

thanks in advance

Looks good, the key is the LED protocols mentioned: WS2814 or SK6812. You should be OK with SK6812 (for RGB+W) to drive that strip.

One thing you’ll find is that those 24V strips combine individual LEDs as a single pixel to handle the higher voltage. A 1m strip will actually only have 14 LEDs you can control as far as WLED is concerned. That will give you pretty wide bands (7cm) for each pixel.

It seems to me to be the best compromise for a good result.
I order :slight_smile:

Thanks @divsys

Hi guys,

Good bad news because it doesn’t work.

Let me explain :
I received my 2 FCOB RGBW LED strips. I connected the ESP32 module to 5V and connected the LED strip with the data cable to a GPIO.
I connected the LED strip to 24V.
The ESP32 module with WLED on it does not send any data to the led strip.

I changed GPIO, modified in WS281x or SK6812 led preferences but nothing changes.
The bands connected directly work correctly.

I ask myself the following question: is the ESP32 capable of managing these LED strips???

Thank you in advance for your help which has been invaluable so far :wink:

Sorry, a little confusion when you say:

Do you mean connected to the original controller? (not the ESP32).

The only other piece that may be missing is a levelshifter, you didn’t mention if your ESP32 has one builtin. If not, you’ll need to add one on the data line to bring the ESP32 data signal up from 3.3V to the 5V the LEDs need.

I think I found my problem.
I think it comes from the wiring.
To answer your question, my esp is powered by 5V and my led strips by 24V.
I have to connect the pole (-) in common, is that it?
I have a doubt about the wiring, should I connect the GND of ESP with the GND of the LED strip?

Absolutely, ground must be common between the ESP and the LEDs (and between separate power supplies if you use more than 1).

A levelshifter is also a common requirement, especially with 24V LEDs.

Thank you for the confirmation, I will be able to redo my connection and I will keep you informed of the result.

For information I power my esp32 with 5V so I don’t think I need a levelshifter

No matter what you power your Esp with the output data signal from the gpio pins is always 3.3v and LEDs look for a 5v data voltage. Wil it work with 3.3? Maybe? can it have problems down the road if it does initially work? Yep. If I were to guess your #1 problem though is not having common ground (-).

So if I understand correctly, it is preferable to put a levelshifter between each GPIO and the DIN pin of the LED strips?

If so, which model do you recommend?
Knowing that I have a total of 6 LED strips of 1 meter.

if needing 6 outputs I would look at getting a SN74HCT245N level shifter as it has 8 i/o’s. Or you could use a TXS0108, though it seems like more people have issues with the TXS0108.

If you wire your 6 x 1m strips to 6 GPIOs, then @jinx is correct, you need 1 levelshifter channel/GPIO.

If you wire your strips in a “Daisy Chain”, with the output of the 1st strip, feeding the input of the 2nd, the 2nd to the 3rd, etc. you need only 1 GPIO and 1 levelshifter channel. Given the small # of LEDs that WLED will address in this setup, there won’t be any performance difference.

Either way (single or multiple GPIOs) it will appear as a single long strip when setting up presets and effects in WLED.

I can’t find a printed circuit to make a clean connection.

Do you have a link to share with me?
It is not so easy to find one with an SN74HCT245N chip.
In any case if I want my connection to be as reliable as possible I need this levelshifter…

I doubt that you will find one on a board. Best bet would be to get some prototype board and solder it to it. Example:

Even better option would be to solder a dip socket to the proto’ board and then you can easily remove the level shifter if for some reason you needed to replace it. Example:


You could try the TXS0108 shifter as it comes on a board. I am sure they work as some have luck using them. But I know when I see questions here they are always with the TXS0108. But it could be just user error. Hard to say. I have always used the SN74xxx shifters even though they can be a bit harder to work with as far as soldering.

These are the best pix I have of a 4 i/o SN74AHCT125N They are on a 20 pin socket (the size you would need for the 8 i/o shifter). It should give you an idea of how tight the space is for soldering.