I want to get 2 of these 500W power supplies

I have several 5 metre reels of these 5050 LED strips (60 LED/m)

Calculations show 1A per metre = 12 watt per metre so about 60 watts every reel.

I was thinking of hooking up the LED strips like this, will it work?

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


Your plan is workable. However, it relies too much on the internal "power bus" running the length of the strip. The absolute max for using the internal power bus is 10 metres, but that's a bad idea because you will see quite noticeable dimming, and if the strips are not made perfect, they will fail. What's more, if one of your power supplies fails, you will be driving 5 strips (25m) of load through that internal power bus, and that will fry them for sure.

I recommend you run "feeder wire" and tie it into the strip buses as many places as possible. The more places, the less dimming; and yes, it's totally fine to feed the strip from many places.

I take it these are monochrome LEDs and you aren't controlling or dimming them. In that case, yes, you can 2-wire power them, but it's even more important you use feeder, as the power-bus traces on 5050 strips are even smaller, particularly the common. If you wanted to dim/color-control them, you'd need amplifiers and would want to segment it so 2 amplifiers are not in parallel.

There is nothing wrong with having two DC power supplies in parallel feeding the bus. DC can be inter-mixed like this, provided they are the same voltage (otherwise the higher voltage supply will do most of the work). If the DC is "dirty" the power supplies might interact, but that can be solved by putting a diode between each supply and LEDs.

You are right to use 2x500W power supplies; those cheapie "fell off a truck in Shenzhen" products such as you linked should be derated at least 2x. With 60-per-metre LED strips I assume 400mA per channel per metre, so 1.2A per metre for 5050s, and 6A per 5m.

Another way to deal with the voltage drop is use 24V (yes you read right) strips. They are harder to find and more expensive.

  • No, they're RGB LEDs and I want to hook them up to a WiFi LED controller.
    – Jack
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 1:12
  • Can you explain more on this "feeder wire"? How would I run this and what kind of wire is it?
    – Jack
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 1:15
  • That makes things a great deal more complicated, then, and the feeder may be irrelevant. Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 7:02

You can inject power anwhere you need to, but that's only 2 of the 4 wires involved. The data circuit (the other 2 wires) doesn't work the same way. It's fairly common in large installations to treat power and data separately due to voltage drop and the need for multiple power supplies, you must plan carefully.

You can't supply power from 2 power supplies to the same strip as your diagram suggests you might be wanting to do.

There is much much more that can be learned on this topic. I would suggest starting at this tutorial over at Adafruit. It describes several possibilities that may apply to your situation.

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