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How to Choose the Right 12V Power Supply

Buying a 12V power supply isn't quite as simple as just choosing the first item that pops up in your list of search results. In order to make sure that everything will work as it should, there are a few things you'll need to consider when purchasing a power supply from the large selection that's available on eBay.

Is there such thing as too much amperage on a power supply?

If you know you need a 12V power supply, then you should only buy a 12V supply. Amperage, on the other hand, works a little differently. If your lighting or other device requires 2A, then you need to make sure that the supply is at least 2A. Unlike voltage, a supply that delivers more than 2A is fine. However, if your supply is less than 2A, it can cause lights and other devices to malfunction. Most of the 12V power adapters and supplies offered on eBay will have amperage specifications listed in the product description.

What if your lighting strips have bare wires or copper pads?

Have a look online if powering your lights is more complicated than simply plugging them into a power supply. There are many great guides that help explain correct and safe power usage. 12V power supplies will usually have one of the following fittings, either with or without an adaptor that can be connected to an LED strip light:

  • Copper pads.
  • Bare wires.
  • Connectors.
Do 12V power supplies come with different sizes of barrels?

Yes, they do. A power supply will be of no use if the jack doesn't fit on the light. When buying a power supply, make sure that the barrel size is correct. Alternatively, you can order one that comes with an adapter. Most power supplies and adapters will come with either a 2.1mm or 2.5mm jack. If you're going to add a dimmer, ensure that the dimmer barrel will fit the lights and that the power supply will fit the dimmer.

Do you need to check the type of barrel pinning in the supply?

Barrels come with either male or female jacks, so you will need to correspond depending on the input jack that's on your lights. A male jack will require a female barrel and a female jack will require a male barrel. Most power supplies come with a male barrel.

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