Brooke Humphrey Outdoor September 01st, 2018 - 08:51:37
The first point in comparison is gonna be price. When I did my first holiday LED light project, I bought the 5 volt version, mostly because they were cheaper. They were about 10 dollars of string versus about 14 dollars, a string if you bought a pack of 10 strings, but that's 500 LED. Maybe you don't need that many, if you're not buying the pack of 10, then the 5 volt strings really aren't any cheaper than the 12 volt strings.
So point number one price is a wash unless you're doing a big project. I haven't used this style of LED strips as much, but a comparison would be incomplete without them. When I looked up the prices, I found the 12 volt version to be about 20 % cheaper than the 5 volt version comparison. Point number two is the power supply buying a 20 amp power supply, for both voltages is about the same price, but another thing to consider about the power supply is that the controller you're using may not work with 12 volt power.
In that case, you'd need a second power supply to be able to run the control board. So for me, I'm controlling them with the d1 mini, which requires 5 volt power. So if you're planning to run your control board off of the same power supply as your lights, then the 5 volt lights get a point here. However, I'll recommend a solution, most likely you've got an old computer sitting around your house, or you can pick one up at the thrift store for pretty cheap computer power supplies provide 12 volt, 5 volt and even 3 volt power.
So by using an old computer power supply, you can run 12-volt lights and a 5-volt control board off of one power supply. That's a win! So point number 3, our 12 volt lights, brighter than 5 volt lights, new. Actually, the LED in these strings use or require the same amount of voltage, whether it's a 12 volt string or a 5 volt string. The voltage that the LED needs is based on the color that you want the LED to be like this. The range is anywhere from two to four volts and then based on the signal that it gets from the data wire.
The voltage is varied to give you the color that you're looking for so our 12-volt lights brighter than five volt lights. No so then, what's the point of having different voltages, why do we have 12 volt lights? Why aren't they all just 5 volt lights? That brings us to the final point of comparison. Voltage drop. A good wire has low resistance, but not no resistance. So the longer the wire is the more that resistance adds up and also smaller wires. Add more resistance than larger wires, so get a small wire over a long distance. You can lose a lot of your voltage, so I set up an experiment to see the effect. A voltage drop on the two different kinds of lights: here are 10 strings of 12-volt lights.
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