So, I have a wall-wart power supply giving regulated 12v 500mA to a 2.1mm Jack.
I'm using this to power a 12v 160mA fan, and an Arduino Pro Mini (at 5V). I understand that the Mini's regulators to drop from 12 to 5 will produce a lot of waste heat (which I'd rather avoid, as am keen to minimise the system's power consumption).
What I was planning was for something like:
Wall Wart (12v, 500mA) ------------------------> Relay -> Fan \ (1) -> Arduino Pro Mini @5V -> /
Would it be more power efficient to put a switching regulator at point
(1) in the diagram (with its surrounding components, or as an integrated circuit) and supply power to the mini's
Also, I'm not sure how to search for an integrated circuit switching regulator (if such exist) as this might be a neater solution than self soldering a whole support circuit?