I am working on a project that involves using 5050 package RGB LEDs (specifically, the ones in this datasheet: link to datasheet). Currently, I have successfully controlled one of these LEDs with an Arduino. However, for a more production-oriented environment, I need them to be controlled wirelessly, and I am looking for a suitable solution.

To achieve this, I'm considering using small form-factor MCU modules like the ESP-12E from AI-Thinker, which operate at 3.3V and have only 9 IO pins. The challenge is that I require three pins to control the full range of colors for each LED, and I'm concerned about their lower current rating per pin.

I thought about using an RGB LED controller IC, such as the LP5862 from Texas Instruments, but I haven't been able to find a reliable source to purchase it. Therefore, I am open to suggestions for other LED controller ICs that can handle colors and dimming capabilities, as I need to control 14 of these 5050 LEDs.

Additionally, I'm considering using mains power (230V in my country) and utilizing a transformer, full-bridge rectifier, and an LDO voltage regulator to power the entire setup. However, I'm uncertain about directly controlling all 14 LEDs like this from the MCU and if it is a practical or viable approach.

I would appreciate any insights or recommendations on the best way to approach and solve these challenges.


1 Answer 1


There is quite a lot to unpack here!

First, depending on how many leds you want to drive, you can forget driving it with a MCU IO. I would most definitely use a driver of some sort to drive it. A simple Mosfet would do the trick quite easily.

Using an RGB LED controller is an other viable option. You mention issue finding a supplier. I'm not sure why, a quick google search allowed me to find some on Mouser. Maybe use octopart to find suppliers. Note that the extra characters in the part number doesn't mean it isn't suitable for your needs. Go check the datasheet to understand their meanings.

Before designing your own AC/DC power supply, if you haven't done it or aren't sure what you are doing, just purchase an integrated AC/DC supply. You will save so many headache and shocks! Main power isn't forgiving for mistake and isn't the best place to learn. But if you want to use a transformer + rectifier+ LDO, it will work but, you will have heating issues and absolutely no protection (which could cause a fire).

My advice, use a AC/DC PSU and take more time designing your circuit. I think you can get away with 3 mosfet easily and it will be a much better learning then main power design. I also like the approach with the TI chip. Both will bring you toward your destination! Price and coding complexity will most likely be your deciding factor for that choice.

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    \$\begingroup\$ HI, thank you for the answer! Yes, the more I think about it does seem like it'd be wise for now at the very least to go with a small formfactor commercial PSU, as I am not the best versed when it comes to power electronics. I also think I will go with the IC then, and about the stock - I mostly was looking at what is offered by local suppliers here, which usually is quite a large selection - because shipping from sites like Mauser is quite expensive usually. However I will look more into this. All in all I think I have a better direction of where and what to look for, thank you!! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 16:06

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