I’ve seen a lot of people having problems with flickering LED-strips for different reasons but I haven’t found info on how to correctly connect a ESP32 for controlling a LED strip with an external power supply.
I have had a lot of problems with flickering when trying to extend the data cable between LED strips. Basically have I never gotten it to work in a good way so I’m using different data pins to control different LED strips instead.
I’m currently wanting to extend the data cable between two 5v SK6812 LED strips. The extension need to be around 4.5 meters (15 feet). Since I’m lacking a level shifter am I using a LED pixel instead.
This setup is working with 3 other LED strips that have up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) data cable but not with the longer one, which is flickering.
If I lower the voltage on the external power supply (from 5.x) to around 4.5v the flickering is less frequent. It also flickers less when I put my finger in the LED strip connections (ground problem?).
I tried to add another LED pixel so I got: ESP32 ->Pixel-> 1.5m data cable ->Pixel-> 3m data cable -> LED strip.
That did not fix the flickering.
This setup seem rather simple but since it’s not working a number of parameters comes up when thinking about it:
- How should this setup be connected when using an external power supply and have X meters between connected LED strips?
- Why does it flicker less when I put my finger on the LED strip connection? Need to connect the ESP32 ground, on the output side, to somewhere?
- How important is the cable thickness in a setup like this? I’m using 20 awg (0.5 mm2) for the data cable and thicker for the power (power cables are much shorter).
- How much difference would a level shifter make a difference?
I hope that you can read between the lines, if I missed something, and understand my setup and can tell me how it should be done to make it work. I’m getting tired of trying things so I would like to know what works and how it should be done.
This is my current setup: