Strobing LED via wall plug

So i have this problem with more than any particular stand or controller. An example of this is having my LED strip powered separately from the controller. The controller has just 1 wire going to the data of the LED strips. Powering the controller via my computer, everything works 100% correct. Changing this power to a USB adapter causes a crazy strobing and just unpredictable behavior from some/most/all/one of the LEDs. This is not “flickering” this is some leds and blue, some are red, some are green, all of them are strobing like crazy.

Then swapping this back to a computer’s USB port and instantly all LEDs are default orangish glow. I have used many different USB adapters in the wall, all have the same result.

You need to have the ground from your Esp, LED power supply and your LEDs tied together.

So just attach a ground from the esp32 to the ground on the leds? The LEDs are using a 12v power source vs the 5v for the esp32. Any idea why they work fine while connected to a PC’s usb port vs. a usb adapter? Probably if i had a grounded usb adapter it would also work? will try this, thanks!

It’s possible the 12V supply and PC both refer their signal grounds to “Earth or chassis ground” or close enough that the strip can operate reasonably well.
In general you want your power supply and data source for a strip to use the same ground.
That’s why you jumper them together.

It does not matter if one source is 12v and one is 5v. It will not hurt anything to connect the grounds. :slightly_smiling_face: