Power supplies for LED installations

If you look around on the Internet you will find a lot of interesting DIY LED installations. Most projects are stripes for lighting and Ambilight clones. Last week I stumbled across a very good guide how to build your own Ambilight clone. I won’t link to this guide as it had one big problem: safety!

Many projects use power supplies similar to this one:

pl8886134-short_circuit_protection_standard_led_display_power_supply_100w_5v_20a_ip20_60hz_en1122

Why? Because they are available quite cheap from many Chinese suppliers. I can’t say if a specific power supply itself is safe. With this type of power supply, the build quality is usually quite good because you can see most parts and people wouldn’t buy them if you can already see that parts are not soldered correctly. Note that this doesn’t say anything about the quality of the parts. But let’s just say, the manufacturer designed this power supply well and it is safe. Why shouldn’t you use something like this? Why isn’t it safe?

Many DIY installations install power supplies in places where they are hidden, but can still be accessed  from the outside. Check out this picture:

powersupply-unsafe

You won’t see the power supply from the front, however, the mains is still relatively easy accessible. Even if you don’t have kids at home, this is unsafe!

There is an easy way to deal with this problem: You should use fully capsulated power supplies with standard AC cables like this one:

laptop-adapter-ac-adapter

This type of power supplies is also available in many different voltages with a power range of up to 100W – more than enough for usual LED installations.