I have a Pi powered with its own adapter. I bought a 1 meter ws2812 led strip and bought a separate power supply for it (5V 6A). I plan to plug the +5V of the power supply directly to the +5V section of the led strip and the GND to the GND led strip and to the GND in the raspberry pi (pin 6). The DIN of the led strip will then be connected to pi's pin 12 (GPIO18/PCM_CLK). Am I doing it correctly? Is it safe to have a common ground for the led strip and the raspberry pi? Is it okay to have separate power supplies? Do I need to buy voltage regulators and or level shifters?

Reference: http://frederickvandenbosch.be/?p=1014

1 Answer 1


I'm presuming that WS2818 is a typo.

For the most part your setup sounds fine. The only thing I'd change would be the connection between the LED strip and the Pi. WS281[x] chips, strictly speaking, need a 5V control signal to work properly. You might be able to control one or two LEDs at 3.3V (I've had mixed results), but I'd be very surprised if you could do a metre. You should use something like a 3.3V to 5V logic level converter.

  • Thanks for the reply. Changed it to WS2812. I am very new to electronics. I am just afraid that I do something disastrous like burning my place down. I've seen some posts that they were able to light up the whole strip without having to use a level converter.
    – Mark Pazon
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 17:00
  • Could you possibly update the WS2818 reference in your question text as well? I've had issues with unresponsive/misbehaving LEDs using a 3.3V control signal, but you might get lucky. It shouldn't do any harm to try with your particular setup - the worst that happens is that your LEDs don't respond properly. A bag of LLCs is pretty cheap, and is a handy thing to have for working with Pis and 5V components.
    – goobering
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 17:08
  • Updated the question to include the reference. However he was using one power supply in the link I provided. I am currently using separate power supplies.
    – Mark Pazon
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 17:13
  • I feel like crying now... It actually worked!!!
    – Mark Pazon
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 17:50

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