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I am working on a project where a LED strip is placed at the bottom of a pool which will send patterns of light along the bottom of the pool. I have looked into some LED strips and found a 5V APA-102 32leds/meter IP68 (submersible waterproofing) LED strip that could be controlled using an Arduino Due and using the FASTLED library. The LED strip would go the length of the pool (25 meters) but I would only be powering 28 LEDs at a time so I figured I'll only need a 5V 2A power supply (since each LED would use 60mA full brightness) to power the system. I plan to power the LED strip every 5m to avoid voltage drop as well.

Do you think this would be safe to install in a pool? I am worried about the wiring becoming exposed and creating a short and having someone in the pool get hurt (or worse). And are there any suggestions to make this system safer?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Adhesive heatshrink. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jul 7 '15 at 19:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ If it's only 5v, then I think you're fine. Just make sure that your 5v supply is isolated from the mains like it's supposed to be. Maybe even ground the negative rail to be sure. An ATX (desktop computer) supply will do that for you, but the supply itself is not waterproof. \$\endgroup\$ – AaronD Jul 7 '15 at 19:53
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IP68 indicates immersion resistance to at least 1m (3.2 Feet) or more, as described by the manufacturer. It should be just fine in a pool. Use adhesive heatshrink on the wire connections and coat the ends.

5V is not dangerous at all. You could put the leads in your mouth and not have any ill effects (except maybe over a week or two...). However, you should definitely have a fuse that will blow if excessive current is drawn. You can buy fuses and fuse holders on amazon. You should use a 2A fuse and a slightly-more-than-2A power supply, if you have one available. Your supply should have enough current to blow the fuse, or you can end up with the supply limiting instead of the fuse.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your local electrical code may require a special power supply for generating that 5V (eg an isolation transformer or doubly insulated SMPS) - in water where the surface area exposed is very much larger even relatively small currents can be fatal. \$\endgroup\$ – james Jan 20 at 0:06

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