So yeah, I'm trying to get some more voltage/amperage from the GPIO pins on my Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. I've ran several tests and I'm only getting about 3.2V and 30-40mA. This cannot do much, there must be a way that I can somehow get some more power, probably through an external power source such as a battery. I've heard some things about sending small electrical signals to make something like this work.

The only problem with this is that I've no idea how I can do this, which is why I'm asking this question.

I want to do things such as lighting up a light bulb or something related to that, 3.2V and 30-40mA just isn't gonna cut it. A 9V battery, on the other hand, can easily power something like this.

Thank you for any help, it is much appreciated.

1 Answer 1


I had this exact same problem.

I needed ~6v ~1A from the GPIOs so I bought a boost converter, stripped a usb cable, attached + and - to the boost converter and put the output on a transistor, the base of that transistor was hooked up to a GPIO pin on my Pi.

There are better ways than that for turning on and off light bulbs.

Like using relays: http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/home-automation-raspberry-pi

Or Arduino: http://www.instructables.com/id/Uber-Home-Automation-w-Arduino-Pi/

  • So, there's no way to just find a way to use the electrical signal as a switch to allow the external battery to give power to the lightbulb? It's a small lightbulb by the way, it'll work with 3v easily. It's not a bulb you'd have as a ceiling lamp or anything. Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 22:54
  • 1
    @ZacharyVincze see the link above for relays. Other possible solutions are to use a RF controlled socket, that can be controlled via WiFi, Bluetooth or 433mhz radio, using a transistor/darlington array to switch the 9V supply. Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 0:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.