I'm trying to build a subwoofer with integrated LEDs which will pulse to the beat. I've seen a few projects for this around the net, but everybody seems to be 'winging it' and not necessarily creating a circuit that will last.

So, if it's possible I'd like to do this the 'right' way. The extra twist I've got going on is I'm using RGBW strip lights with a controller.

The intent is to have the strip color (and initial brightness) controlled by the LED controller. For this portion the controller has a dedicated 12v DC input. The complicated part that I'm trying to achieve is to have the strip intensity driven by the amplifier output, such that the LEDs would 'pulse' with the subwoofer output. What I presume is that the output from the controller needs to be regulated, and the most promising solution so far seems to be a transistor, controlling the power sent to the leds based on the input from the audio amplifier. In my limited electronics experience the common wire in the 4-conductor output from the LED controller was the candidate for this regulation.

The amp would be putting out ~0-18v AC for this application.

I plan to use this controller.

And these LEDs.

A helpful user on another forum submitted this sketch for a possible circuit, with amp power coming from the left and the LED controller on the right.


Does this look like something that will do what I'm looking for? Any suggestions or ideas for improvement?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You could do this without the led controler \$\endgroup\$
    – Autistic
    Dec 1, 2015 at 9:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ that would be, essentially, not doing it. \$\endgroup\$
    – logan74k
    Dec 1, 2015 at 22:56

1 Answer 1


I am definitely not very knowledgable when it comes to electronics, but I did something similar to this once. I had my subwoofers hooked up to a 1600 watt amp, and used a separate 400 watt amp for the LED's. I wasn't sure if it was bad for the amp or the LED's, but it seemed to work fine. All I needed was audio splitters for the two amps and I used a small power supply from the cigarette lighter to power the amp and the LED's. (Of course I have my larger amp hooked directly into the battery). Here's a video of how it looked. I didn't have the LED's in any special place, I was just messing around.

Here's the video

  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice video. I'm going for just that effect. Pretty leery of hooking up straight AC to the LEDs long term though, hence the post. \$\endgroup\$
    – logan74k
    Dec 1, 2015 at 23:00

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