Powering Up the Lights

The Tribium Lights controller was designed primarily with 12V DC power input in mind and it can modulate the light intensity of any 12V LED lights. The controller can power up to 8 light sources independently.

An important consideration is to use proper power supply that will be capable to power all the lights and controller. Some of that power is used to power the controller’s circuit so it is important that there is not interruption of the operation which can cause the controller to restart or malfunction.

As a rule of thumb calculate the cumulative amperage of all lights connected to the device and then use at least 20% stronger power supply. So if you connected 8 light sources with 30W power use each. The power supply should be at least providing 300W

(8 x 30W) x 1.2 = 288W.

Any modern switching power supplies can be used. They are available in any internet stores, like Amazon.com or Aliexpress.com etc. We recommend using the power supplies that have CE or FCC certifications. They will be usually well tested and will not send fatal high voltage impulses that can burn the controller unit.

Below are pictures of most available power supplies that you may find on Amazon. They either can be equipped with standard 12V DC jack which allows you to conveniently plug to the controller. These power supplies however tend to have low current (usually up to 5A) so if you need to control more powerful lights, you may choose dedicated high-amperage units.

Connecting Power to the Tribium Lights Controller

You may connect lights using the 12V DC power plug:

Alternatively you may attache the wires from the power supply to the screw terminal:

Using Computer Power Supplies

You can also reuse any power supply from old computers or other devices. Practically any of the connectors normally coming out from the power supply carries the 12V DC. On the pictures below you can see some examples of connectors and their pin-outs for easy identification.

Types of connectors available in the classic computer ATX PSU.
Pinouts of the most popular connectors. Colors designate the color of the wire. For example black is universally “ground” (0V) and yellow is +12DC. Perfect for use in your lighting project.

Note 1. An ATX PSUs do not work immediately when connected to mains. They require specific Power-ON pin to be connected to ground to turn on. On the main connector there is green wire – connect it with black wire in order for PSU to start delivering power.

To turn on the power supply just connect Power ON (green) pin with Ground (black).

Note 2. Some power supplies may not turn on or turn off after some time. This is due to current sensors on these PSU not being able to detect considerable current flow. Tribium Lights uses 1-2W of energy when it is idle and this can be just to little to be considered “worthwhile” power use by some PSUs. However this does not apply to common power supplies that do not have such intelligence.