I would like to control a 2M 5050 12V warm white LED strip from a 3V3 or 5V micro controller, powered by a 240V wall outlet.
To power both the LED strip and MCU from the same switch mode AC adapter "wall wart", I am going to need to use a DC-DC step-down/step-up buck/boost converter for the other device.
I am looking for the most power efficient setup. Candidates:
a) Use a 12V AC adapter and power the LED strip directly, with a buck converter for the 5V MCU.
b) Use a 5V AC adapter and power the 5V MCU directly, with a boost converter for the 12V LED strip.
Common sense tells me option A) would be more efficient as the main load (LED strip) avoids double regulation, stepping all the way down to 5V then stepping back up to 12V.
I would like to both configurations to confirm real world vs common sense. Any advice on how to accurately test each with a multi-meter / temp probe?