I am trying to hookup a led strip to a 5 V 40 A power supply and ESP8266 microcontroller. I know that the led strip and microcontroller can only draw as many amps as needed. I am concerned about the gauge of the wire/electrical connections used in the led strip and microcontroller and whether it can handle 40 A without burning out. For a little more info, the LEDs on my strip are the WS2812B LEDs which use a maximum of 60 mA per LED. I am going to be using 3 meters of 144 LEDs per meter strips. So there would be a maximum of3x144x60 mA = 25.92 A current drawn from the LEDs. I’m aware of power injection to allow 5 V to be delivered throughout the strip, but I am concerned about the connections of the LED strip itself to be able to handle a 40 A power supply.

I connected a 1 m LED strip to the power supply and the wires from the power supply up until the led strip started burned out. Do I just need to get better gauge wires up until the LED strip and will the strip itself be able to handle the 40 amps? Also will the microcontroller burn out from the 40 amps or is it ok? I’m a little new to this and don’t want to cause a fire or burn out any of the components so any help would be appreciated!


Specific LEDs I bought (the WS2812B ones at 144 LEDs per meter)


  • \$\begingroup\$ You did not provide a link to the LED strip for us to see how much current-limiting they have when they are powered from 5V. Maybe they expect YOU to limit the current. Also we need to know how many LEDs there are per meter. \$\endgroup\$
    – Audioguru
    Jul 25, 2021 at 18:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I’m not sure about the strips themselves as I got them on AliExpress but I can provide a link. The LEDs per meter are in the post. It’s 144 LEDs per meter. aliexpress.com/item/… \$\endgroup\$
    – mr579
    Jul 25, 2021 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ In theory electrical components will only draw as much current as they need. However in real life based on the gauge of the wires they can burn out due to the chemical properties of the wires from the power supply to the LEDs, the connections between the LEDs, and the connections on the microcontroller. \$\endgroup\$
    – mr579
    Jul 25, 2021 at 18:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I’m new to this. Just looking for some help. Would really appreciate someone who knows more about this if I am missing something or do not understand something \$\endgroup\$
    – mr579
    Jul 25, 2021 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


The wiring only needs to be sized to the load, not the maximum the power supply could produce.

If you managed to burn out the wires from only 1m of LEDs, you probably wired it wrong.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ With such a high current PSU, OP would be wise to add fuses rated for the wire gauge he's going to use. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2021 at 18:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for clearing that up, that it’s based on the load. I will check my wiring to make sure nothing went wrong there. \$\endgroup\$
    – mr579
    Jul 25, 2021 at 18:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Unimportant Could you explain a little more about where I would put fuses or what is the purpose? \$\endgroup\$
    – mr579
    Jul 25, 2021 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think my circuit shorted as the 5V and ground wires were really close to each other on the breadboard and exposed. Thanks for the help \$\endgroup\$
    – mr579
    Jul 25, 2021 at 20:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ do not connect high current circuits to a breadboard \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    Jul 25, 2021 at 21:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.