Controlling 12v addressable LEDs?


Just got some LEDs off Amazon today, was looking back and forth between the Pro and the LEDs trying to figure out what in the world I’m looking at when I notice the LEDs have a tiny “12V” printed, and the blinkstick has a tiny “5V” printed on it. I was only paying attention to “WS2812” and didn’t even think to think about voltages.

I don’t know hardly anything about electricity and electronics hardware but I’m pretty sure mixing voltages is a bad idea. Do I need to return these and get some 5V LEDs or is there some electronic witchcraft that can save my butt?


Sure they are addressable 12V LEDs? Haven’t seen those yet. Do you have a link to look at them?


I think so. Physically they look very similar to the LEDs on my Flex. There’s Power, Data, and Ground spots marked on each LED every 3 LEDS.

Each end has a plug with 3 wires that go to each pin. There’s also 2 extra wires outside the plug that seem to be connected to the power and ground spots.

On the Amazon page they’re labeled as being 5m of 12V WS2812B LEDs.


Ok, makes sense. There are sections of 3 LEDs each. That means that LEDs are connected in series of 3 to split voltage and only supply about 4V for each LED. They should be addressable and you should be able to control them with BlinkStick Pro. Use this schematic and supply 12V from separate power source for LEDs:

Don’t connect anything to the +5V on BlinkStick Pro!


Awesome! So just to make sure I’m seeing this right and don’t blow myself up somehow:

  1. Connect ground from outside power source to BOTH blinkstick ground and LED ground.
  2. Connect data from blinkstick to LED data.
  3. Connect 12V from power source ONLY to LED 12V.


That should do it. Note that the molex and sata connectors on PSUs have +12V rails, so you can use that for +12V RGB strip power (like many RGB kits do). Just don’t connect it to the blinkstick +5V as per the manufacturer’s warning above. That is USB +5V only.


Alright these are some weird LEDs. Each unit of 3 shares an address, but it works. Thanks all!