I've been using this library for a while but just discovered this great forum

I’ve been using this library for a while but just discovered this great forum with some impressive projects. I’m curious what those of you who’ve made very large arrays do to reduce current consumption? 60mA*2000 pixels=120A is a lot of current for my old house to deal with!

This might be really bad advice, but I’ve been powering Neopixel WS2811 strips with very underpowered power supplies, and it seems to work fine – nothing has exploded or stopped working or even felt hot to the touch, and the LEDs look fine, no brownouts or flickering. I’ve been running 120 pixels at about 1/3 brightness (no more than 1 color fully on at any time) on one of these, which is rated for 1A output: http://www.amazon.com/RAVPower®-External-Standard-Flashlight-Carrying/dp/B006ZTMEZ4 The Neopixel specs claim that 120 pixels should require 7A on half brightness, but everything seems to work fine with the 1A battery. Can anyone point out reasons why I shouldn’t be doing this or failure modes I haven’t considered? I’ve never measured the current consumption because my ammeter only goes up to a few hundred mA, so I just plug stuff in and see what happens…

I drive all of my strips off of several (old) computer power supplies. Find one that has a high current rating on its 5V rail. For example, this Corsair which can handle 5V@30A(http://r.ebay.com/GNTygv) There are some that can go upwards of 40A for the 5V rail. At that point, you just need 3 of them to reach your magical 120A.

That’s 120A at 5v or 12v, though - that’s only 600 or 1440 watts - which if your house wiring couldn’t handle, you wouldn’t be able to run a dryer or a microwave :slight_smile: You should be fine.

Also, for me, it is rare that I ever run my led strips at full brightness - which often ends up scaling back my power requirements as well.

@Ashley_M_Kirchner_No That looks like an interesting alternative to what I’ve been using: http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/200W-Dual-Output-Switching-Power-Supply-88-264VAC-input-5V-200W-output-CE-and-ROHS-approved/701799_289599892.html The higher capacity version of these have very noisy fans though. How’s the loudness on the one you linked to?

Thanks @Daniel_Garcia . That’s exactly what I was wondering about. I’d forgotten about the lower current demand on the AC side.

Mine’s a regular power supply. The original that was in it was rather noisy, so I ripped it out and put a quiet one in. Now I don’t hear it at all. And it sits right by my feet at my desk.