I have two of these 16x16 grids (https://www.pololu.com/product/2533) with leds programmed to have white color (255, 255, 255) and brightness level = 16. I have a power supply with maximum of 16A current.

This entire setup has a power consumption of 12.8A at 5V. This is a lot of power being consumed and I might have to switch the power supply in case I need to connect 6 more panels to the current setup.

Any idea how I can reduce the power consumption while having brightness level = 16 and white color for all leds? I would highly appreciate.



To avoid overheating and reduce the maximum potential current draw, we recommend that you set the APA102C 5-bit brightness setting to a value of 12(out of 31) or lower.

Okay 16 is the required limit to be set but is it possible to set to 12 and get a feedback? Why is the complusion to stick to 16?

If the software you are using does not support changing the 5-bit brightness setting, then we recommend limiting the red, green, and blue color values for each pixel to 99 (out of 255) or lower.

It will not be pure white for sure but it is the price paid for the gain of power savings.

If you don’t want to use a reduced brightness level, you can take other measures to reduce the power drawn by the LED panel. For example, limiting the number of LEDs that are on at the same time, limiting how long the LEDs are on, and lowering the color values of the LEDs can all help reduce the power drawn and keep the panel from overheating.

Last resort.

I would recommend to try all three, see the tradeoffs: Ex.: trying brightness level of 14, limiting RGB value to 127 and so on. Also provide good heat sink. Providing good heatsink will limit the temperature rise of the LEDs thereby limiting drop in their forward voltages, which in turn limits the increase in current.


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