Segments not working on 12v LEDs (v0.13.0-b3)

Hello. I’m very new to WLED and could use some help. I recently setup an ESP32 min to drive some bed lights and wanted to be able to toggle light on either side of the bed. I originally used a strip of 5v WS281x LEDs and segments worked just as expected. However, I wasn’t happy with the voltage drop towards the end so I decided to switch over to a 12v strip of WS281x LEDs. After making this switch, segments no longer work. Even if I divide the strip, the first segment always controls the whole strip. This applies to on/off, brightness, even effects.

5V WLED setup (segments working):

  • Used a 12v 1A to 5v converter to power ESP (via VCC + GND).
  • LEDs were also connected to 5V side of stepdown converter.
  • Only connection from ESP to LEDs was from GPIO16.

12v WLED setup (segments not working)

  • Same as above except LEDs are now connected to the 12v power supply.
  • The step down converter still powers the ESP.

Here’s my segment config. I used the boot preset per the FAQ directions and my segment settings do persist between reboots.

Am I missing anything? Is this just an issue with cheaper LED strips or is there a real bug here?

Can you get any light at all on the 12V? Try a very simple 1 segment example.

My first instinct would be a wiring problem.
Check to make sure you’ve connected the ground of the 5V and 12V supply to each other (and the LED’s). Also check for a data direction arrow on the 12V string. I’ve seen different types use opposite polarity connectors from what you’d expect.

You may possibly need a level shifter if you’re a significant distance from the strip although I’ve never had that issue.

I connect 12V and 5V LED’s to WLED all the time with no issues.
It’s even possible to connect 12V and 5V strips to the same controller, you just connect the grounds and keep the different voltage supply lines routed to the correct strip.

If you’re experiencing too much drop down the string length, my standard technique is to run a small 18/2 “power bus” wire in parallel with the strip. I use it to inject in the centre of the strip so you can minimize the drop to 1/2 that of injecting at one end or the other.

When dealing with very long distances and/or long strings, I run the bus at “high” voltage (12 or 24 Volts) and place small buck converters to drop down to operating voltage (5 or 12V) at the injection points. Again, if you set these points halfway down the string, you reduce even out the drops you have to worry about.

Using these techniques, I’ve got a 250’ 600 LED string that works beautifully on 5 volts dropped from 24.

You didn’t mention if you had WS2811 or WS2815. My guess is you have WS2811 and now each pixel is 3 LEDs. Divide your count by 3 and see if that works for you.

That was it! I didn’t know there was a difference like that. TY.

You bet. The WS2815’s are 12v, individually addressable and have a backup data channel so if one pixel goes out the rest of the lights continue to work. More expensive but IMO worth it.