I'm about to install some 12v LED lights and have been surprised by the amount of current required, especially if multiple strips are used, and the effect of voltage drop.
I will be installing RGBW 4-in-1 5050 chips. These are rated as 15W/m (each colour 3.75W/m). In total I am installing around 16m of strips (2x5m + 2(3x2m)).
- Do I really need to size the cable from transformer to controller for 6.25A for every 5m run (assuming 15W/m)? Wouldn't using RGB not run each colour at full power at the same time, but rather a blend with reduced overall power? Or is it best to use cable that can take all the colours being on fully at the same time?
I was planning to run the entire 16m from a single 300W transformer, each strip in parallel. But this would mean that the cable run from transformer to an LED strip could be as long as 5-7m and this means that voltage drop comes into effect and I need a bigger cable diameter.
- Would it be best to have a single 'big' transformer, or would it be better to have smaller transformers closer to each strip where the effect of voltage drop does not greatly increase the cable conductor diameter?
Any advice on the best way to install, cable and power these strips is greatly appreciated!