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Easiest Way To Use LED Strips?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'd like to do some lighting in my case.

I was thinking cold cathodes are the way to go, as I've heard generally they look better. But then the cost/longevity/complexity has steered me away.

 

So, LEDs are the way to go I guess.

 

I like the look, price point, ease-of-use and quantity of this LED strip here : 

http://www.lightsforalloccasions.com/p-3192-led-flexible-light-strip-16-feet-300-leds-plug-in-blue.aspx?gclid=CPLCofvJlLkCFQ2f4Aod4z0AgQ

 

But how do I go about connecting this to my PC? Can I cut multiple separate strips?

 

I know how to solder, I just don't know if I need any resistors, a PSU or any other supplies. Also, how should I go about connecting it all to my PSU rather than having an AC cord running out of my case?

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Triennial
(15 items)
 
Free Laptop
(10 items)
 
Old Rig
(16 items)
 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
I7-740QM GT 330M 4GB DDR3 1033Mhz Intel 320 120GB 
Optical DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Blu-Ray Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit 1600 x 900 CM Storm Scout Cherry MX Black 
PowerMouse
6 Cell Li-ion 5200mah SteelSeries Sensei 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X6 @ 3.8 Core / 2.7 NB / 2.7 HT ASUS M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 Gigabyte WINDFORCE 3X 6870 952/1076 4GBs DDR3 G.Skill Eco 1450Mhz 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Boot/Main Drive : SSD Intel 320 120Gb Sorage : Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS Spire Thermax Eclipse II Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Samsung SyncMaster 2233sw 21.5" 1920x1080 Gateway HD2200 24" 1680x1050 Generic ASUS Corsair TX750 
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Cooler Master Haf X Generic ASUS Generic ASUS Turtle Beach PX5 
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post #2 of 4
I'm fairly sure most LED strips are 12V, you can make a simple 12v molex connector and solder that to the strip, here:
post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ne0Khan View Post

I'm fairly sure most LED strips are 12V, you can make a simple 12v molex connector and solder that to the strip, here:

This is true for the most part but it depends on the type of LEDs and the attached resistors. Looking at the description it is hard to tell what it uses as it doesn't say anything about the A/C adapter other than the strip uses one. If you do get this just look at the adapter and see what the output voltage is to make sure.

Reading the description you can cut it every 2 inches or so, probably to make sure that the resistors will still be correct for the LEDs. As long as you cut where it says you should be fine.

Edit: Took a closer look at the pic and I can see a +12V on the strip so 12V would be fine and work as long as you have enough amperage.
post #4 of 4
Yes, LED strips have all the necessary resistors already in the strip. Simply cut the length of strip you want to use, clean off the + and - pads on one end and solder on the wires. Finish off with a bit of heatshrink. You can also add additional wire and strip to the other end, so you can flex the strip around corners, snake to other parts of the case, etc. The stuff is super easy to work with. The #3528 strips I have can be cut every inch. #5050 strips are a little longer between each set of three. The cut marks are obvious as there's usually a line, the solder pads on both sides, and sometimes a scissors marking in the silkscreen.
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