I'm trying to build my Arduino project with Arduino mega and led matrix panel. I'm wondering what power supply should I buy, my first thought was to power the matrix panel from a 5v Arduino pin, but I read here that it's not really a good idea. So now I'm wondering if I can buy a 12V power supply and somehow split it to 6V and 6V (or something like it). To connect one end to Arduino and the other to the matrix panel. If it's possible, how do I do that? Thanks for any help!

  • what is the arduino mega power supply voltage requirement?
    – jsotola
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 18:37
  • 6-12V, but it runs on USB too, so 5V minimum i quess
    – krystof18
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 18:42
  • so, if it runs on a 12 V supply, then connect it to a 12 V supply
    – jsotola
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 18:51
  • forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=618723.0 - In this forum, they don't recommend that, because if a large current is drawn, it will overheat the built-in power regulator.
    – krystof18
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 18:54
  • you don't want to use the arduino to supply current to drive peripherals anyway ... LEDs and motors should be supplied externally ... arduino should only provide control signals ... if you are still worried, then use a buck converter to supply 5 V to the arduino
    – jsotola
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 19:01

2 Answers 2


No,you cannot split the voltage and expect the devices (Arduino and LED strip) to work correctly together (would lead to different ground levels beside other problems). For getting a different voltage you would need a voltage regulator. A switching "buck" regulator is the better choice here than a linear regulator (lile the one on the Arduino), since it is way more efficient (To get from 12V to 5V a linear voltage regulator would burn up the excessive 7V as heat).

But since both Arduino and LED strip use 5V, why not just buying a 5V power supply, which can provide enough current. Then you can connect it to the Arduino and the LED strip in parallel. No need for voltage regulation in that case.


Figure out the amp draw of each component, i.e. Arduino and LED strip. Buy a voltage regulator that supplies the voltage needed but, more importantly, can supply the Arduino amp draw plus the LED strip amp draw.

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