Nice alternative cable for led strips?

Hi all,
i am building a Hue Signe Clone and i’d like to make it as slim as possible and exclude the controller from the lamp and just use a coated 3 wire cable - any recommendations? I was thinking about using 22AWG - is it suitable?
is there a nice plug/connector aswell?

Depends - How long a strip are you talking?

I’ve made 22AWG work in some pre-made window frames that mount inside for the season.
Once you get up past 50 or so LED’s, you’ll hit voltage drops on max brightness/white.
I added a mini buck converter at the center of the string and wired a 22/4AWG “bus” in parallel with the string. I powered that bus with 12V so I had lower current up to the converter that gave me a 5V 2A power injection at the middle of the string. On a couple of bigger windows I had to do 2 converters as the strings/power req’s got too large.

For data I used Tx-Rx RS485 pairs so the MCU could be wherever was convenient. 22/4 wire was used again, 2 wires for powering the transceivers and 2 for the A-B data. You can reduce the Rx unit down to the size of a SOIC adapter board, the Tx unit stays with the MCU.

The nice thing with the buck converter approach is you have a fair bit of leeway in the bus voltage. You can increase it (depending on the converters you pick) to keep the current needed by the bus down and avoid a big voltage drop on the power line.

That is interesting indeed , would it be possible to share the circuit you made with the buck converter ? . Merry Christmas

Sure thing, the circuit I “made” took one of these:{“sku_id”%3A"62256087872"}&pdp_pi=-1%3B0.72%3B-1%3BCAD+1.65%400%3BCAD%3Bsearch-mainSearch

and wired the output (set to 5V) directly across my string at the injection point.
The power input for that converter is just tapped off the bus line (running 12-18V) as it passes the injector.

I have one larger string set (~500 LED’s) that uses about 20 of those devices set behind the string at strategic points. They’re nice and tiny, but don’t believe the hype about handling 3A. They could deal with intermittent surges up to that but in continuous use 2A is already pushing it. I try keep them under 1.8A.

I have a hard time translating from text to circuit diagram , have you made any circuit diagram showing the whole setup with power and everything ?

All those wonderful projects you made will for sure be very useful to others but its kinda impossible to replicate from text without problems given as you may noticed a lot of people are just staring with leds . Thanks anyway

what do you guys think: my LED instance has 204 LEDs - would using a built-in stereo jack work - can it handle 12V?

Here’s a basic diagram to give you some ideas.

I’ve added a separate PS for the MCU, you might power the MCU from the end of the first strip if your power is good enough.

I’ve also added “Gnd jumpers” at the buck converters to show that ground is common across everything.
In reality, most converters already have a common ground from input to output.

I really appreciate the effort you have taken to do this. If you made it just because we asked then we appreciate it even more .

I think we need to have a pined section for circuit design because I see people struggling to design and power circuit while we have working examples . It really a shame if something like this not used as a reference for others .

Will it also be possible to see the actual project result in reality ? just a picture will do as it would really help to link it to the design

Posted something under Projects that may interest you.

I seen it and its look great , I will also get some Mini-360 not because I have long runs but because I have a lot of 12 V power supplies and a lot of ws2812b so do you think its a good Idea ?

Converters can be a mixed bag.
On the one hand they’re cheap, so you can try different styles/makes/models.

The Mini-360’s have been effective for me provided you don’t try and push them too hard.
At 1.5A output, they’re pretty good. As you get past 1.75A they start to heat up.
Don’t expect to get 2A on a continuous basis, at best they’ll go into thermal shutdown at worst they’ll release magic smoke.

The other thing to watch out for is max input voltage.
Many sites claim their converters are good to 24V.
Often they mean 23.632V or in other words, at 24V they go “poof”.
Many of the mini-360’s fall into that category.

If you’re looking to use your 12V power supplies for a bunch of 5V LED projects, I think it’s a good solution.