I have 2 LED strips with 6 LEDs on each. They use a 12V power supply.

My question, how can I use them like regular LEDs using Arduino UNO? Without any MOSFETS or transistors if possible.

And can I use PWM?

  • The only way is to cut out the individual leds an solder some wires to them, so you can connect them directly to the Arduino (with a resistor).
    – Gerben
    Aug 25, 2016 at 18:12
  • Do you have a picture? And are you sure it's 12v? As 8 LEDs is a weird number.
    – Gerben
    Aug 25, 2016 at 18:14
  • its 6 actually.. my bad @Gerben
    – YaddyVirus
    Aug 25, 2016 at 18:19
  • That makes more sense. Two sets of 3 LEDs in series.
    – Gerben
    Aug 25, 2016 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


It's not safe for the MCU without transistors or so.

You can use some kind of LED driver (for example TLC5940 with on chip PWM) or ULN2003 as 8 channel low side switch (instead of 8 transistors, PWM is possible if you do it programmatically) or many others.

With single transistor it looks like: enter image description here

Where R_1 can be about 1K and transistor can be any NPN that could handle led current.

  • so what transistor do I actually need? and in case I do use a transistor, how am I going to wire the enitre setup?
    – YaddyVirus
    Aug 25, 2016 at 18:20

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