I just happened to see some large strips of LED lighting when I was picking up some parts at Maplin which were on sale (if I remember correct they were around £12 per approx. 2m strip) however the controller/driver was still around £40, so I thought I would just build a better one myself.
I wanted it to be a web enabled controller as there are a lot of cool things that can be done with a device once it is accessible over HTTP, and I am working on a home automation server project so it would be good to have some devices which I can test this with.
Anyway, let’s get started, here is a basic parts list, some of the components may change depending on the nature of your lighting installation (i.e. if you are driving more LEDs you may need higher power transistors, etc.):
- Arduino (Duemilanove, Uno, etc., can be done with a Mega but it is overkill)
- Ethernet Shield (in which W5100 is embedded)
- 12v to 5v switchmode DC-DC converters (my LED strips rat at 12v but the Arduino needs 5v and this is more efficient than a linear converter)
- Assorted resistors (for transistor protection, usually around 100-500 ohms)
- NPN transistors (I just used basic NPN transistors as I was only switching around 300mA per channel)
- Push to make button
- Various connectors and cables
- Stripboard (goes by various other names, I used this to make my driver circuit into an Arduino shield)
- Enclosure (optional but recommended)
- Fuse and fuse holder (optional but highly recommended for permanent installations)
- Scrap materials to make any mounting hardware needed (I used HIPS to mount my Arduino in the enclosure)
You can view all steps how this project has been built up at the Instructables.