I am trying to drive an LED strip (10 LEDs) from the output of an ESP8266 GPIO pin. I measured the short circuit current from the GPIO and got around 40 mA. My question: Is it recommended to include an emitter follower stage to isolate my ESP8266 and my load (LED strip)? I don't want my load to draw a large current from the MCU pin which could alter the logic level.
A crude circuit is shown below (component values are not as per calculation)