Trying to get started with the Arduino, so I'm trying to do something kinda simple. I'm following this tutorial: Build Your Own Dynamic Ambient Lighting For A Media Center

However, I'm still confused about one, most likely simple and self-explainatory, thing: Take a look at this image - is that DC connector on the bottom left the one that's one my Arduino? Do I simply have to connect the 12V wire from the RGB LED stripe to Vin?

After using google for a bit, I read this: the diode and trace width are other limiting factors. The diode is rated at 1 amp and the board traces can't handle much above 2 amp.
Does that mean I can only use 1A because of the diode? If so, why does it matter how much the board traces can handle?

I'm trying to power a 12V 2A RGB LED stripe.

I'd appreciate your help and I hope this is the correct subreddit to ask that. :S

2 Answers 2


No, that connector is a completely separate one.

You can connect a power supply to the on-board power socket of the Arduino and take power out from the VIN pin to power other things. However the total current that is used by both the Arduino and whatever you power from it cannot exceed 1A.

So to have more than 1A available you have to have the power connected externally to the Arduino. That doesn't mean that the Arduino can't share that power, just that the Arduino can't provide that power.

You can connect the +12V of the LED strip to VIN on the Arduino as long as the 12V power supply is connected to the LED strip not to the Arduino - that way the power for the Arduino comes from your external circuit.


It will be dangerous to take 12V from VIN pin. Please have a look at following picture. That is the diode you mentioned. the diode can burn out if the current get exceeded.

enter image description here

there are three ways to solve this.

  1. Use two different supplies. Use a 6V battery(or 5V USB power) to power arduino and 12v supply for LED strip. You should connect both grounds( grounds of supplies)

    1. Solder a wire from bottom(from the point shown in picture) of arduino board for 12v

    2. connect 12v power directly to VIN (not by using power jack)

enter image description here

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