I have 4 single color LED strips which I would like to control individually with one remote controller - turn them on/off an dim them. So far I only have my LED strips (They are about 3.5 meters of length combined), an 80W power supply and an Arduino Uno. I'm new to this kind of stuff. Could you help me with the setup. What parts do I need?

EDIT: So I decided to go with an Arduino Nano. First, I'll try to power up only one strip. My question now is, how to power up the Nano. All the setups I found, have an USB cable connected to the nano to power it up. Can I connect my 12V+ to the VIN?

EDIT2: Take a look at my setup. Is that OK? enter image description here


  • Are the LEDs 12 or 5V? – Code Gorilla Feb 16 '17 at 13:03
  • The LEDs are 5050 12V 60leds/m – Dusan Feb 16 '17 at 13:14
  • So far your question is hard to answer because there are so many varieties of LED strip out there. Could you please provide details on what LED strip you are using (a link to a online electronics shop is ok). If you know any details on how to drive these LED strips (eg on/off, I2C, SPI etc). – sa_leinad Feb 16 '17 at 14:01
  • Its this strip: dx.com/p/… and my power supply is 12V 7A – Dusan Feb 16 '17 at 14:11
  • The product page of the Arduino Nano states “Input Voltage: 7-12 V”. So, yes, you can power it with 12 V at Vin. – Edgar Bonet Feb 17 '17 at 9:54

You will need several things.

First I assume that the power supply is a 12V power supply. If it isn't, better to get one (3.5m of leds can be 4.2A, so even a 12V 5A supply is fine). Note: you didn't specify the led size, so the current can vary a lot. But a standard one is a 60 leds/m 5050 leds, which means 60mA/5cm, or 4.2A for a 3.5m strip.

Anyway you will need a 12V power supply to power both the strips and the arduino (through the Vin pin).

You will then need a way to control the leds from the arduino. Since the required current is too high for the arduino, you will need to put a transistor. I tend to prefer nMOS over NPN, but just because of the way I learned them. Anyway just get a low-side transistor (either an nMOS or an NPN) capable of handling the required amount of current (at least a couple amperes, better if they are >5A) and the proper circuit to turn them on. Usually you will just need one or two resistors. You will need to connect the +12V to the plus terminal of the leds, the drain (or collector) of the transistor to the ground pin of the led you want to control, the source (or emitter) of the transistor to ground and the gate (or base) of the transistor to the arduino through the proper circuit.

Then the remote controller. You did not specify what kind of remote controller you want to use, but usually you can cope with a IR receiver (e.g. the TSOP382 or any other) and the proper decoding. A lot of remote controllers are already mapped in the library IRremote; you just have to read the value it provides; inside the arduino you will need to save the codes for the commands (you will have to train it first) and then simply compare.

This is a generic answer, because you did not provide any details. If, implementing this, you encounter any problem open a specific question with what you did up to that point.

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