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I am trying to use the 5v output from an Arduino to control a 12v LED strip. I have an N-Channel MOSFET but I am confused on how to make it work. Here is the MOSFET Datasheet: http://www.st.com/web/en/resource/technical/document/datasheet/CD00002848.pdf

I basically want to use the MOSFET as a switch. When the Arduino outputs 5v I want 12v to output from the MOSFET (using 12v battery), but if the Arduino is not outputting voltage, I want the MOSFET to output 0v. Is this the correct component?

If it is the correct component, how would I set it up? I have never worked with transistors so this is new to me. Are there resistors I need to make this actually work?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ related, if not duplicate: Selecting a MOSFET for driving load from logic \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Oct 27 '15 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nick Alexeev: Might be worth migrating this to arduino.SE where people might be more inclined to provide more newbie-friendly support/advice. \$\endgroup\$ – Fizz Oct 27 '15 at 21:28
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You need to control the current going through the LED strip. You can control the Vgs of the MOSFET to turn the current on and off. You put the MOSFET on the low side because that way you can use the Arduino's low-voltage output to apply 0V or 3.3V (5V depending on the Arduino) to the gate of the MOSFET. Because the source of the MOSFET is grounded, that controls the MOSFET Vgs (the voltage between gate and source) turning it on and off.

schematic

simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

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STP16NF06L is suitable for 5V (and even 3V) drive... but you won't get as many amps through it with 3V drive.

enter image description here

Make sure you know/calculate the current needed because LED strips can draw a lot. Alas you haven't told us anything about your LED strip so I can't help with that for now.

The circuit that Daniel has shown you is called a "low-side switch". The are numerous tutorials for this if you google the term e.g. http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/transistor/tran_7.html A bare-bones arduino-oriented one: http://bildr.org/2012/03/rfp30n06le-arduino/

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