ESP32 + WLED + CAT6a = dumb?

Hey Everyone!

I have about 3 feet of spare LEDs from a separate Hyperion project that I wanted to set up under my desk using an ESP32 running WLED. I don’t have any spare 18 AWG cable, but I do have a spool of 23 AWG CAT6a solid copper cable.

Is it a dumb idea to run the LEDs using a soldered connection between the ESP32 and the LEDs?

The setup would be USB power → ESP32 → soldered CAT6a cable for power, ground, and data → LED strip. I’m expecting an answer somewhere between “Sure, people do that all the time without a problem” to “As long as the length of the CAT6a cable is less than X, you should be fine” to “Be sure to have a fire extinguisher handy.”

Just checking so I don’t burn down the house. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks and have a great day!

You can potentially use one pair of copper for each.

It will double the wire diameter and the insolation between each pair will help avoiding interferences.

@BenoitAnastay Ahh, so something like tying both browns for ground, oranges for power, and greens for data be ok? What would a theoretically useful cable length limit be when using that setup? Besides interference, what are the downsides of this kind of arrangement?


Lots of info here Wire thickness needed -

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Those cable are already able to bring power to devices through PoE.

For LEDs I guess that the only issue that you may have is a power loss, since the supply is only between 3 and 5V.

Depending in how many LEDs you have you will need to connect the power input at regular interval.

If there is too much loss based on the length you need, an option is to convey higher power voltage and use a converter PoE like for telephone is 48V DC with 600mA

It’s about 30w if you convert it to 5V you will have something around 6 amps but copper do not heat the same way at 5 and 48v but you should be safe if you have less than 50 LEDs.

The link of @nickrout gave you all the math if you’re not sure