Controlled Illumination

LED strips offer pools of light that is functional, artistic and easily installed. Control remains a problem where commercial solutions are clunky. Better to use the Raspberry Pi Zero W in an experimenter's household.


I'm building an enclosure for my Prusa i3 MK2 3d printer. I use OctoPrint. I'm hoping that I will be able to buy a single strip of LEDs and hook it up to the RPi 2. However, I haven't done that before and I don't for sure if it can power it alone. post

If you really want to keep it simple you can power the lights directly off of a 12v power supply, even the 12v power supply that you use for the hot bed. If you want the lights controlled by the Arduino control board you should run the lights off of a relay. You could power the relay directly off of one of the Arduino pins or even off one of the fan pins or any pin that is alive when you need the light.

The LED light strips come in quite a few flavors. They are sold by led/meter. Typically 300 per meter and come in rolls of 5 meters. The LEDs have different power requirements, depending on their lumens (brightness) designated by a 4 digit code, 3528 being the lowest and 5050 being the brightest (as I recall) you can google up the specs if you want. They come in different shades of white , bright white, medium white (natural) and warm white, which has a lot of yellow. They come in waterproof and standard. You can cut them to length and use clips to rewire them.

The LEDs are peal and stick and last virtually forever. I have a couple of rows of them in my kitchen on the underside of my kitchen peninsula, over my prep counter, by my stove. The LEDs have been on continuously for about 3 years. The low power lights (3528), in bright white, would provide more than enough light to light up your print area. A roll from is typically about $5.00 or less for the 3528s, non-waterproof. Right now a 5M roll is on sale for $1.98 with free shipping. The wire clips are really cheap also.

If you needed a few feet of lights for your project and wanted to come to my house I would be happy to donate the needed LEDs and clips. I have a few extra rolls as I am getting ready to wire lights behind the ceiling molding in most of the rooms in my house. I am also wiring waterproof strips under the edge of my new porch steps in the front of the house. When I laid the brick treads, I imbedded wire for waterproof 3 color strips under each stair tread so I could do holiday lighting. Let me know if I can help.

I assume you meant flexible LED strips. There are also nice rigid aluminum strip versions for under-cabinet and ceiling mounting.

I've been using LED Wholesalers for years, with good service. They are in the SF Bay Area; bring in LED stock by container loads from all over, then ship out small quantities to the public. So, quicker shipping and they have the experience to select the good products/manufacturers among the many poor ones, so I've no received no defective strips/lamps from them.

Here's the white/single LED link. page

Is this what you're looking for (12Vdc white strips)? page

Look for the sale items for best pricing - it usually means that another container load of that is on the way and that they want to move the existing stock to make room.