I'm battling with Addressable LED tape power. I have 12V TM1812 RGB LED tape and want to run the maximum lenght in pixels , which is just over a 1000 pixels. This means the current will be around 40 Amps at 12V. This comes to about 20 meters of strip.

I will ditribute the 12V and GND along the strips by using a bigger cable to reduce voltage drop and heat. But connecting the GND across for the reference of the data signal will give a path for the current to flow through the thin PCB of the strip which I need to avoid.

I'm adding small restistors to reduce noise betweeen the strips for data, but how can I make sure the high current which is driving the LEDs is not passed through the previous strips and goes through the big ( buzz bar ) cable I use to power the strips.

Each strip of 132 pixels draw just over 5 Amps on 12V.


You can't avoid some current passing thru the ground in the strip connections but, if the resistance of the busbar cable is significantly smaller then it shouldn't be an issue; most of it will flow in the busbar and do the job as you intend.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Would putting a resistor inline of the GND connection between the strips be a solution to this , or will it create other electrical problems \$\endgroup\$ – Bela Props May 22 '15 at 8:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Current will flow through the path of least resistance. The more current that flows through the thin tracks, the more it will heat up and the higher the resistance - therefore less current will flow through it. It ends up being self regulating. You don't need to force current into the easier route, it will take it. Simply providing a lower resistance (higher current capacity) route in parallel is enough. \$\endgroup\$ – Oliver May 22 '15 at 9:18

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