I'm looking to use 24v LEDs (https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01LYNJTBN/?coliid=I359TOA9WZGE2V&colid=3HRP4V1TLBJ6P&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it) along my fence to help light my pool area. I understand from reading online that I'll want to connect power to the strips at both ends to avoid voltage drop. However, details on how to do that for an electrical novice are sparse, and none discuss how to wire a controller into the setup.

I would like to setup a waterproof 21 amp outdoor power supply at the foot of one corner of the fence. I would then like approximately 65' of LEDs to run from there along my fence to the West daisy chained every ~6' (run A). I would also like a 20' run from the PSU North along my privacy fence daisy chained every ~7' (run B). I planned to give each of these runs their own controller.

My guess is that I'll need to get two DC pigtails to run power from the PSU to the controllers. Then I need a very long piece of (10 awg?) wire to run from the end of run A all the way back to the PSU. What I'm unclear on is:

  1. Do I connect that wire coming from the end of run A to the same terminals on the PSU that the DC pigtail is connected to or a different set of terminals?
  2. Where do I connect the positive and negative of that return wire to?
  3. Will the controller act as a switch and continue to properly function when I'm connecting both ends like this?
  4. Will connecting run B cause any problem in this setup, assuming it's on its own set of terminals on the PSU?

My alternative is to go with this 120v system that will end up costing me over twice as much: https://www.birddogdistributing.com/rgb-color-changing-led-strip-light-120-volt-high-output-smd-5050-65-feet/


Given the answer provided, I assume that this would be the appropriate way to wire Run A, with Run B a completely separate controller/strip coming off the same PSU:

Wiring Diagram

My understanding is that the amplifier will take the signal from the first strip and use that to control the color and brightness of the second strip. Am I likely to notice anything odd where the end of the first 10m strip meets the beginning of the second, since the second has a fresh 24v power source?


1 Answer 1


Don't bother with the 120V system. It's less safe and more expensive. Learn to wield low voltage at long distances. Feeder is the key.

This is a 5050 system, which means it is very power-hungry.

Because you're at 24V, you won't need to connect power to both ends of each 16.4' (5m) strip. However, you will need to connect power to one end of each strip. That means you will need to carry your 10AWG "feeder wire" along with the strips most or all of its way.

10 AWG wire sounds right, however it would need to be 10/3, assuming your local Codes allow you to use the ground wire for DC return (a bold assumption). Remember you must use outdoor-rated cable, so UF for instance, never NM.

If you want to control the two sections independently, then that is fine. However, if your reason is because you are hitting current limits for 1 controller, couple things on that.

  • The right way to handle that is actually 1 controller and amplifiers. The controller's output is used either as power to some LEDs, or signal input to the amplifiers, or both at once is also fine.
  • Amplifiers also let you use a different power supply for each amplifier.
  • It is virtually impossible to keep 2 controllers in sync. You must use the 1 controller+amplifier(s) method if you want them to match.
  • Don't run this Cheese junk anywhere near its rating - it will fail if you do.

That goes double for the power supply, by the way. Don't run it at spec limits unless it says General Electric or Siemens. I wouldn't even push a Meanwell near limits. For a cheap random Chinese thing with no UL listing, I'd derate it by about 66%.

Mind you, all that "Sold by blah-blah and Fulfilled by Amazon" stuff evades all our product-safety laws, and has never seen the inside of a NRTL testing lab. Since it's direct-ship (or drop-ship via Amazon), you're the importer for purpose of product-safety laws. I don't particularly care about low-voltage stuff, but anything that touches mains electric ought to be UL-listed.

  • Is the feeder wire to each strip necessary? It will be difficult to hide the feeder running from the ground up to the top of the fence every third post.
    – Nicholas
    Commented May 7, 2019 at 18:07
  • We planned two separate controllers so that the privacy fence could provide better practical lighting near the tables, while the other fence provides better mood lighting. Are amplifiers necessary after the controllers, or can I run the full power for run A from PSU > controller > LED strips? And how would I turn the controller output into a feeder line?
    – Nicholas
    Commented May 7, 2019 at 18:12

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