Can I Power 12v Led Strip With a USB? Answered!

So, you want to power your 12v LED strip with a USB, right? And you are being skeptical about whether you should do it or not. To be very honest, being dubious about using a USB for powering a 12v LED strip and seeking a proper way to do that is normal.

Can I Power 12v Led Strip With USB

Even I had to go through a ton of blogs and articles to have a comprehensive understanding of powering a 12v LED strip with a 5v USB. But I will not leave you in the dark. I hope this article will describe everything you need to know.

Can Led Strip Lights Be Powered By USB?

Yes and No. No, if you just use a USB to power LED strips. But Yes, if you can use a dc boost circuit to amplify the current.

This is the only way if you want to use a 5v USB to power your LEDs anyway.

Read on to find out.

How Can I Use A USB Cable To Power 12v Led Strip?

A USB provides only 5v of current at a time. But the requisite current to power up a LED strip is a minimum of 9 volts. So if you want to use a USB to power up LED strips you will need to have a dc boost transformer circuit. It will amplify the current up to 24v and thus make a USB compatible to power up LED strips.

So technically it’s not possible for USB to power up LED stipes unless you use a step-up transformer. The step-up transformer circuit will receive 5 volts from the USB and amplify it to 12v to power up the LED strips. That’s simple.

How To Connect A Dc Boost Transformer Circuit With Led strips?

A dc boost step-up transformer circuit basically has ports that will allow you to connect both the LED strips and the USB. Plug the LED strips into the 12v ports of the converter. And then connect the USB port with the converter and power up the LED strips. 

Cautions To Maintain While Powering 12v Led strips With USB

You must make sure that the power rating of the DC-DC boost module matches the current rating of the LED strips before you connect it. Otherwise, the variance in the output voltage may burn your LEDs. Why? 

The output voltage of the circuit may vary due to the input voltage. While connecting the dc circuit, you must fine-tune the output voltage matching to the voltage required by the connecting device. In your case, you must match the output voltage to 12v. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If I Power Up My LED With A USB?

Powering up an LED with a USB is almost impossible. But if the LED strip is smaller in length and consumes the bare minimum electric current, it will likely be dimming. Even that too requires at least 7 volts of current.

Can I Connect My  LED Lights to My Printer’s USB Port?

We never recommend that you use LED lights on non-host USB device ports. Because the lights produce ultra infrared rays that non-host USB devices like printers, home theatres, or smart TV can not handle.

How Much Power Does A 12-Volt LED Use?

If we describe it in simple technical terms, a 12v LED (a reel of 5 meters) will use 2 amps or 24 wattages of power. One must assess this power requirement while powering up the LEDs with a power supply.

Do Led Lights Get Hot?

Yes, there are times when LEDs get hot to the touch and the light may flash and be inconsistent with the output. But this is obviously not normal all the time. Because most LED bulbs have a heat sink technology that allows the LED to stay at room temperature. LEDs are much more balanced in heat compared to traditional light bulbs.

Do USB Lights Use Less Electricity?

LED lights use less electricity than any other lights in the market. An LED produces the same level of light output drawing 85% less current than an incandescent light bulb and 18% less than Compact fluorescent bulbs.


LED strips need a minimum of 12v to light up bright. But USB can not provide that amount of current to LED strips. That’s why an amplifier is necessary if anyone is determined to use a USB. In this article, we have shown how you can easily connect the USB and LED strips to the dc boost transformer.

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