20 Things You Must Know Accent Lighting Diy

December 8, 2018 4:54 am by sandiego
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20 Things You Must Know Accent Lighting Diy

The easiest way is to just get the little controller that comes with the LEDs.  They are dirt cheap when you get them with a 5M strip of LEDs like the link posted in the last step.  If you ordered a set that came with a power supply and controller you can skip to step 5.Power: Here’s the guide to power bricks that they never told you: There are two things to look at, volts and amps.  You can fudge the voltage a little bit, but messing with it can be dangerous.  Going too high will stress components and can lead to fires.  Go too low, and whatever you’re powering may not work.  The only thing that gives you some play is the fact that a lot of devices will take a certain voltage input and step it down using a voltage regulator but there’s really no way of knowing this without taking the device apart and poking around.  Long story short: play it safe and use the recommended voltage.Amps: you have more wiggle room here.  Too little amps and the device won’t have enough power, too many amps and the device will only use what it needs.  So, feel free to overshoot a little on amps.  For a 5M strip I recommend a 12v power supply with at least 4 amps.  Your standard 12v 1A power brick won’t cut it, if you don’t have one just order one with the LED strips.For larger installations I like to use old computer power supplies.  They have 12v, lots of power and are fused so I sleep safer with them running at night.

The drawback of dimmers and switches is that while it’s easy for you to enter a room and tinker with the light levels, it’s equally easy for children, grandparents and guests to take the same liberties. If your budget allows, you may want to consider a “scene” integration system that allows you to preset, typically, four different lighting levels. (For example, daytime, food preparation, dinner and evening entertaining.)

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Place a light below or behind an accent wall, a striking piece of art or another object, which gives it added presence and a glamorous halo effect.

What is the difference between 3 wire led strips & 4 wire led strips?

Tip 5: Install directed lighting to highlight certain areas. 

If you’re mounting these in one long straight line, there are a couple of issues. First, the strips probably come in five meter lengths because the voltage at each LED ( = brightness) starts to drop off when the strips are much longer. If you want to make one twenty meter strip, you should run separate power to each strip using at least 18 gauge wire. Second, you can overcome this voltage drop that happens if you string a bunch of these together by lowering their brightness. There is less voltage drop if the LEDs draw less current.

Sleek, white waterfall countertops reflect the light of the industrial lighting fixtures, adding an elegant and sophisticated look to this contemporary kitchen.

Dimmers make it easy to control lighting. The dimmer gives the option of having lights all the way up or all the way down. It saves electricity and the life of the bulb. Learn how to install a dimmer switch, it’s easy.

Track lighting is perfect for performing tasks around the large crafts table, while a built-in bookcase stores supplies, books and art work.

Recessed lighting goes with any decor. The recessed fixture blends perfectly within the ceiling, and the homeowner doesn’t have to go out and pick a fixture. 

Give potential homebuyers a fresh look at your kitchen with a combination of new ambient, task and decorative lighting.

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This guide goes over some info and techniques for using LED strips as accent lighting.  LED strips are relatively cheap, the RGB strips can make any color, and they’re small and easy to hide.  They also run off 12v which makes them easy to install in cars or boats as well.We will cover picking out lights, controlling, powering, and different techniques for hanging them. 

Monoprice.com is the one stop shop for cheap cabling, I order all my stuff from there for my light projects.  The 4 strand 16AWG is what I currently use.  The wires are a decent thickness and they have nice, easy to identify colors.  The only downside is the entire package is a little stiff.  If anyone finds a looser 4 strand wire with a comparable gauge be sure to let me know in the comments.http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239For single color runs (only two wires needed) speaker cable or lamp cord will work just fine.  My deck lights (white only) are hooked up using a cheap spool of lamp cord I got from the local hardware store.

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Decorative lighting should be considered in direct proportion to the size of your kitchen — the larger the space, the greater importance chandeliers, hanging pendants and other eye-catching fixtures play. “There are two major considerations when it comes to decorative lighting,” says Whitehead. “You want to make sure that the scale of the fixtures is right for the space, and that the shade material has enough opacity to effectively hide the light bulb.”

Is there a standard ceiling light in the living room? You can wire your power supply into the octagonal box for the light / ceiling fan. That would be the closest place to pick up 110vac

Great tutorial! Do you know if it makes any difference whether I get UL listed strips? I am a bit confused by this article: https://www.led-strip.lighting/do-led-strips-require-ul-listing

The idea behind a layered lighting design is to have a variety of light levels available at your fingertips. “Dimmers and switches are the most economical way to coordinate lighting levels,” says Rey-Barreau. “For about $20 per layer, you’re able to do most anything to modulate the mood and environment.” Whitehead recommends implementing zones, wherein each layer of lighting is on a different dimmer for easy adjustability. 

Hi I have a 12V 5 meter length of RGB 5050 LED strip (72w). I have an 8A power supply(96w) and a 6A controller. I have a “1 to 4″connector as I intend to cut the strip into 4 peices. I want to be able to switch off/on the 4 smaller strips independently. I have 4 switches which I had assumed I could just solder to the black(negative) wire in my 4 wire connection strip but I have been warned that this could cause a backfeed ?? and maybe dangerous as there will always be a current being drawn. Please comment.

Yes but after 4 strands of lighting your going to begin to get Dimming from lack of power after the 4th strand of lights.

According to Rey-Barreau, a standard scene integrator that is hardwired into your electrical system and controlled by a switch plate with a limited number of scene choices will run under $1,000. Of course, more scenes and a higher level of technology are available — for a price. 

The kitchen used to be strictly for food preparation and children who were not to be seen or heard. Now, floor plans are more open and parties often flow from the living room through the dining room and into the kitchen. “Ambient lighting will attract people into the kitchen and make them feel welcome while eating appetizers and sipping wine at the island,” says Whitehead. Ambient lighting fixtures may include flush-mounted ceiling fixtures, a pendant hanging over the island and adjustable track lighting. 

My only issue besides finding the appropriate extension is the Hot Glue has separated from the light strip in a few places. I’m now researching glue sticks for one that will better bond to the synthetic waterproof cover on these lights.

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Under-cabinet lights can be a hidden asset in any kitchen, providing task lighting as well as soft ambient lighting to give the room a warm glow with the touch of a dimmer switch. Strip lights are a popular choice, long linear bulbs or a string of lights contained in a single fixture. Another popular option is a puck light system, made up of a series of hockey-puck shaped halogen lights.

The idea behind a layered lighting design is to have a variety of light levels available at your fingertips. “Dimmers and switches are the most economical way to coordinate lighting levels,” says Rey-Barreau. “For about $20 per layer, you’re able to do most anything to modulate the mood and environment.” Whitehead recommends implementing zones, wherein each layer of lighting is on a different dimmer for easy adjustability. Photo courtesy of Lutron.

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To avoid catching on fire, never apply too high of a voltage to them. Be sure the power supply can provide the needed amperage. If they are high temperature lights (I’ve seen tri-color theater curtain wash lights that were 180 degrees F on their faces!), be sure they’re mounted so the heat can radiate away from them. That makes the entire thing warm while making sure no single spot is too hot.

If you search for RGB LED strips you’ll see there are a TON of options.  Luckily there’s a very specific thing you want; just search for 5050 RGB 5M 300.  Here’s a breakdown of the individual parts:5050 – This is the type of LED.  This is a standard part, it’s big and bright but still runs cool.  It’s common to see 3528’s in LED strips, avoid these, they’re a lot smaller and dimmer.  To go bigger than 5050 you’re going to get a lot more expensive and a lot hotter.RGB – Red Green Blue.  This means it’s a tri color strip.   By mixing the different colors tri-color strips can do any color in the rainbow.5M – 5 meters.  This is the longest length I’ve found.  You can use it pretty fast, go any shorter and you’ll pay extra.300 – The count of LEDs. The most common setups are a 5M strip with 150 LEDs or 5M with 300 LEDs.  I recommend the 300 count ones because the price difference isn’t that much and they’re a lot brighter.  If you don’t want to search around this set should get you started, it comes with a power supply and controller. http://www.amazon.com/TaoTronics-TT-SL001-Waterproof-Changing-Controller/dp/B004T0BM0O/So, to recap: Search Amazon or eBay for 5050 RGB 5M 300 and pick one.  I’ve never ordered from the same place twice (I always forget) but I haven’t had any issues with any of them.  All of them have been about the same.  The only thing I would recommend is if you’re doing a large room, order all the LEDs at once because the whites can be slightly off.  In my living room one set of strips has a warm, pinkish white and the other set is a light cool blue and it drives me crazy because I’m picky about those things.  Order your LEDs all at once and they’ll all match.Other options: For large areas like a porch it might make more financial sense to order a single color.  White is a good for general lighting.  Red and blue are very dull, don’t count on them to provide more than an accent lighting.Waterproof? I like the waterproof LEDs simply because it makes the strands easier to work with.  They have a nice weight and flex more easily, plus the coating helps prevent shorts when mounting the strips with staples or other metal fasteners.  The weight can be a problem if you’re hanging them off the bottom of something and you want to rely on the built in tape, but other than that I don’t see any downside to the waterproof strips.  

Off to the side, a small stretch of countertop is illuminated by under-cabinet lighting. Glass-front Shaker cabinets help to break up the all-white cabinetry overhead.

Photo by: Jason Kisner ©2012, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

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https://www.amazon.com/SUPERNIGHT-5-Meter-Waterproof-Flexible-Changing/dp/B00ASHQQKI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1472184083&sr=8-4&keywords=rgb%2Bled%2Bstrip

“Accent lighting is the least common layer in the kitchen, but it is becoming more common as people spend more time in the kitchen for casual entertaining,” says Rey-Barreau. You may want to hang a piece of artwork on the wall behind the breakfast table, or a tile splashback over the sink may be a decorative focal point. Occasionally, Whitehead installs lighting inside glass cabinets to illuminate collections of china and glassware. 

According to Whitehead, the most effective lighting for the kitchen involves four layers blended together: task, ambient, accent and decorative lighting. The end result: a warm and inviting environment that works with your other design elements to create a practical workspace and lively entertainment area.

You could win $5,000 and outfit your kitchen like a Food Network Star!

Built in double sided tape: For the first use the built in tape on the back usually works on smooth surfaces.  My lights stuck nicely to the Power Wheels and the bottom of my first cabinets.  Once I moved they didn’t stick as well and I had to move on to hot glue.  Just try the tape, if it doesn’t work move on to some other techniques.Hot Glue: Hot glue works well but I’ve had problems with the hot glue sticking to the back of the LED strips.  The double sided tape can fail and separate from the LED strip.  To remedy this wrap a small wire around the LED strip wherever you’re going to apply hot glue.  This gives something for the hot glue to grip on and hold the light.Nails: Small nails are my favorite way to hang lights when I have a good solid surface to attach to.  Just hammer it straight in, then bend it over the light.Staple Gun: Staples from a staple gun hold very well but it’s easy to accidentally clip the LED strip and damage it.  A standard staple gun staple will barely clear an RGB LED strip, plus the way the staples are forcefully shot makes it easy to miss.Stapler: If you’re attaching to a soft enough material like pine you can use a regular stapler.  They’re much wider and you can insert them slowly which makes them the safer bet.

If you’re not using a computer power supply you can skip this step.Quick and dirty: Get a small piece of wire and short the green (should be only one) and black (any of them) lines.  This tells the power supply to turn on.  Plug the lights into a yellow and black wire.Yellow = 12v+ Red = 5v+ Black = Ground (all -)For a cleaner installation, take apart the case.  Cut all the wires off leaving a couple black wires, the green wire and some yellow wires.  Unplug the fan if you want.  Strip the green and black, twist them together and hide them somewhere in the case.  You can also solider the green wire to ground if you feel comfortable reading the circuit boards.  Run the yellow and black wires outside of the case, put back together.

can I connect 4 x 5 meter 3528 end to end and power it from 1 end or do the 4 strips need to be powered separately by running a power cable to each strip

Thanks a lot for the guide. very useful. Any idea for hiding the power supply and controller?! I want to install the LED strips as ceilling lights. in the center of the ceilling! No idea to hide them 🙁

“Task lighting is what people think of first when designing a lighting system in the kitchen, because it’s integral to preparing food,” says Joe Rey-Barreau, director of education for the American Lighting Association. “However, if task lighting is misplaced it can actually hinder your ability to work efficiently, throwing shadows on your workspace.”

This is what i am trying to do . at work we have 2 signs that say no trucks the lights do not work becasue the city removed the pole that we had power from. so i want to get some led . have them set up to a timer like you use in the house for xmas light and then to a car battery for power. That wold be the only way to power the, . i need some idea i saw some adapters on amazon but it is just not right if this is possable . please let me know

An upholstered headboard and black nightstand play against the whimsical and elegant Cole and Sons wallpaper. The turquoise lamp adds a pop of color.

The benefit of track lighting is that you have the ability to change the direction of its light. It’s a simple installation that someone with little electrical knowledge can perform.

When you say “the price difference between these 300s and the 150s are $43 for the 300s compared to $23 for the 150s,” do you mean the 300s cost $43 and the 140s cost $23? That would be a price DIFFERENCE of twenty dollars, which is more than the above advice implies, but that’ likely the fact. Check a few other sellers to compare.

It’s always helpful to add as much detail as possible when asking technical questions. I guess you have single color LEDs. That must be known to address the issue.

You can only cut LED strips at certain points, otherwise you can’t solider onto the ends.  Look copper pads spaced every 3 LEDs and cut across the middle of the pads.  You can also find them by the labels; typically you’ll see + R G B or in the case of these pictures, just a marking on the common power line.  To wire up the LED strips there’s nothing special, just match up like pins (+ to +, R to R, etc).If you have a waterproof strip you’ll need to trim off some of the plastic to get to the solider pads.  Strip the wires and then tin them and the pads on the LED strip.  Touch the wires to the pad and heat them up to solder them together.  Be sure to mind the gap between them.  Once the wires are soldered use hot glue to seal the end and be sure to get some glue between the wires.For smaller bends pull off the outer sheeting for cleaner wiring.

Learn how to light up your home, add curb appeal to the front yard or turn your backyard into evening entertaining space.

Decorative lighting should be considered in direct proportion to the size of your kitchen. The larger the space, the greater importance chandeliers, hanging pendants and other eye-catching fixtures play. Make sure that the scale of the fixtures is right for the space, and that the shade material has enough opacity to effectively hide the light bulb.

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Tip 9: Know the difference between fluorescent and incandescent. 

According to Whitehead, ambient lighting is an important layer that is often overlooked in the kitchen. “This indirect lighting is what I like to call the humanizing ingredient to any lighting design,” says the designer. “It softens the lines and shadows on people’s faces and creates a warm inviting glow in the room.”

Hi there, I’d like to know a bit more about wiring power for the cables. I currently have the LED strip linked below. However I have it installed in my ceiling so the wires either hang out through the room or don’t reach, what would be a good solution to route the power. Is there anyway I could route it to my home electrical network or just have the power cable in an extended length.

CI-McGilvrayWoodworks_hgrm-room-stories-French-Country-kitchen-bar-area-oven-JDK0277_h

There is, also, consideration to be given to the safety aspects of these LED strips and how/what they powered by.

A lighting plan should be an integral part of a kitchen remodel. Here are some of the main factors to consider.

Thanks for the Q&A here. I purchased a 164 ft RGB 5050 waterproof 110V strip from LE. I’ve cut it into 3 40 ft lengths that I’m powering with 3 110v controllers. I want to run 3 RGB extensions that will be 20 ft between each controller and the light strip it controls. I’ve calculated each strip at 1.65 amps. Can I safely use the standard 22 gauge RGB stranded extension wire commonly found on Amazon and Ebay for 12-24v led strips? If not what should I use? Thank you.

Tip 1: Light only what you want to see. Through lighting, you have the ability to direct attention on the things you want people to notice in your home. Lighting can make an ugly room beautiful (and vice versa).

Well, it’s been ten month so you’ve probably moved on, but hey, other people have questions…

Great info! Can you recommend a battery powered light string? I want to illuminate the inside of a storage box and I won’t always have access to a wall outlet.

Your description of “waterproof” is misleading, splashproof is likely what you have.

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I bought some LED RGB strip lights and I’m having a wiring issue. Everything I bought from the controller to the connectors is a 4-pin set up. However, the strip lights have a 3-pin plug with a separate red and white line as well. Does anyone know how to wire up this configuration?

A modern orange and black home office features an exposed brick wall. The workspace ties the room together with its unique perspective and design.

If you’re uncomfortable permanently changing the lighting in your home, you may want to try using lamps to light the space. There are many decorative choices with no installation required.

Clean lines, sleek finishes and dramatic lighting define this contemporary guest bath. A geometric mirror and square beaded sconces mimic the lines of the dentil molding, and a lighted countertop on the metal vanity gives this glamorous space its edge.

FYI the lights are for a three teared 40′ long planter wall along our front walk. The top rail of each tier is a 4×6 pressure treated timber horazontaly attached to the top of each planter wall that I routed a 5/16 channel 5/16 deep the 40 ft length of the walk X 3. I hot glued the strip lights into the channel. The lights face down and are concealed by being in the channel and below the line of sight. Looks fantastic when lit and 100% concealed when not.

20m is pushing it. Running additional wires to points along the strip (from the controller) generates less heat. The conductors on the strips are quite small.Note that the power use by strips varies by 10*…

As a general rule of thumb I never place LED strips where they are directly visible.  They’re too bright to look directly at and I like having nice glows coming from seemingly nowhere.  If you don’t have a good way to hide the LEDs quarter round is good way to create an extra lip.  The shelf above my liquor has no lip to hide the LEDs behind so I bought a piece of quarter round for $2, stained it dark to blend in with the rest of the mantle and nailed it in front of the LEDs.  The piece is barely noticeable and the LEDs are hid nicely from sight.At my office I wanted to put LED lights in my cube but there wasn’t a lot of options.  I mounted the LEDs directly to some pieces of quarter round and mounted those around the perimeter of my cube. When you have more flexibility try to mount LEDs slightly off from the wall.  If they’re too close you can see the shadows in between the individual LEDs but if you space the strip slightly away from the wall you’ll get a nice, even glow.  300 count strips vs 150 count strips help with this also.

“Waterproof” strip lighting is terminated in a plastic cover that is molded on to the lighting strip. There is also about a 30-40% premium charged for this. Additionally, the plastic covering the LEDs is far less likely to discolour due to UV (sunlight) exposure.

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Jason Kisner, 2012, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

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Incandescent lights can be found in most homes in America. Fluorescent bulbs are often found in offices; they last longer and are more energy efficient.

Using lighting to draw attention to focal points of a room can really make the difference. 

I’m confused.Above you said, “I recommend the 300 count ones because the price difference isn’t that much and they’re a lot brighter.” Then (unless I’m missing something) you link to lights on Amazon that are 150, not 300.When I looked on Amazon for TaoTronics lights that were 300s, I found these: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006K0JYD8… But the price difference between these 300s and the 150s are $43 for the 300s compared to $23 for the 150s.When I looked at different lights on Amazon (as you said you’ve bought from different places with no problems) I see other brands and people mention issues like them not working and in one case, catching on fire.Any help or suggestions??Thanks

Using a smaller fixture can help cut utility costs. Engineers have been able to harness a small power source and amplify it to have the intensity of a much brighter light. 

Proper lighting is essential to creating the right mood and really brings a home all together in the end.

Tip 2: Add a world of color with lensing. Spread lenses will soften light arching on walls, drawing less attention to the light source and more on what you’re trying to light.

Track lighting, up-lighters, directional eyeball lights and wall sconces are all accent fixtures. Whitehead recommends recessed adjustable low voltage fixtures to highlight artwork. The MR16 bulbs often used in these fixtures come in a variety of beam spreads. I the diameter of the art changes, a simple change of bulb will be all that is needed to illuminate the new art. 

Lighting your kitchen doesn’t need to be a complex matter, but it is layered. “The most common mistake people make is trying to light their entire kitchen with one fixture centered in the ceiling,” says Randall Whitehead, a lighting designer in San Francisco, and author of Residential Lighting: A Practical Guide. “It ends up being a “glare bomb,” visually overpowering everything in the space — including family and friends.”

A black accent wall makes a statement in this contemporary entryway. A striking chrome console table nestles against the accent wall with a mirror above to reflect light.

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The right illumination can change the look and feel of your home. Check out these tips on where and how to place accent lighting.

Hi, I’ve been sesrching for help on a LED prolect for my boat.Ive purchased LED strip lights from Bass Pro. These are a two color 3 wire. Is there anyway I can link these lights to a 3way LED rocker switch? I would like to switch up for 1 color then down for the other color. Is this possible?Thanks for any help you can provide.Sean Biggs

America’s top lighting designers share their foolproof tips for creating the perfect lighting plan for your kitchen.

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This cottage-style kitchen implements a variety of storage over the countertop. Open shelves and glass-front cabinets display pretty dishware while closed cabinets conceal whatever the homeowners don’t want seen.

O man. Just the info I need.I do have a quick question. Let’s say I bought the one you linked (I did buy just like it, although the plug looks different, Tingkam I think)My question is can I just snip the plug off an splice it straight into my car from a live wire from interior light? I want it for trunk lighting.Seems simple. Any advice from others welcome.Thanks

“Splashproof” strip lighting is terminated in a pair of wires and covered with usually, white, heatshrink.

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HGTV Remodels Room Stories Transitional Kitchen with butcherblock island and glass-front cabinets.

Through lighting, you have the ability to direct attention on the things you want people to notice in your home. Lighting can amp up visual drama like nothing else.

Outdoor kitchens have become an extremely popular outdoor extra for new homes, especially in warmer climates.

According to Rey-Barreau, key locations for task lighting include underneath the overhead cabinets and over the island — anywhere you’ll be chopping, slicing and reading recipes. The pantry is another place where you’ll want bright, focused lighting. 

Re: “Waterproof”The company I work for designs LED applications for buildings and automotive ‘bling’ applications.

A pair of heavy chandeliers are full of medieval charm above the kitchen island. Open shelving and a stainless steel range hood counterbalance the light fixtures with contemporary sleekness.

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Decorative lighting is the most expensive element of your lighting design scheme. If you’re on a tight budget, Whitehead recommends installing the infrastructure for decorative lighting — the junction box and/or recessed box in the ceiling — then, purchasing the actual fixture down the road.

If you are not experienced with electronics I recommend just getting the controller that comes with the RGB strips.  They’re simple and they work, the only downside to them is if you have multiple 5M strips you’ll end up with multiple remotes to control the lights.  I haven’t had good luck with one remote working with multiple controllers.For more advanced setups you can control the lights with a microcontroller.  This is the method I use, but my shield is not ready for documentation.  I can, however, post the power ICs I use and a basic circuit diagram in case anyone wants to make their own controller.These power IC’s are my favorite for switching 12v with 5v.  They’re designed for automotive use, support PWM, can handle a lot of amps at 12v and they have built in fuses to prevent anything bad from happeneing.  If you cross some wires and short them out they’ll simply stop conducting until the problem is removed.http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=BSP75NTAvirtualkey52230000virtualkey522-BSP75NTAThese power ICs have three pins: Source, Drain and In.  Mosfets have a Source, Drain and Gate.  Just pretend In is Gate and you can use these like mosfets but with less math.  TAll of the LED strips I have purchased have been common anode.  This means there’s one positive line and three grounds, one for each LED.  So, if you design your own circuit be sure you’re switching grounds.  The attached schematic is a basic circuit that can be used to switch one channel of an LED strip with a 5v logic line.  If you want to do an RGB strip you’ll need to repeat this three times, one for each channel.

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