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Tech Support Q/A Blog: Using a Multimeter to check your voltage:

Posted on April 26 2018

Tech Support Q/A Blog

Using a Multi-Meter:

Welcome to the technical support Q/A Blog where we go more in-depth regarding subjects you may have questions about but were unsure what or how to ask. The subject here is using a multi-meter for checking the voltage output on your LED products. Understanding how to check your voltage is important as it will allow you to better troubleshoot any issues that may come up with items such as power adapters or LED strips.


Multi-Meter Settings:

Connect your wands to the appropriate ports and set your multi-meter dial to the correct setting. You will likely have a red and a black wand, the red representing positive and the black representing negative. The red wand should be connected to the 'VOmA' port and the black wand should be connected to the 'COM' port. Next, set your dial to the number 20 on the V--- section (this will measure your volts to 2 decimal places - ex 12.07). The 20 is the maximum number of volts being measured and the V--- represents DC or 'Direct Current'. If you are using our 24 volt strips, it would be recommended to set the dial to the number 200.

Please reference the picture below for a visual representation of the setting information:



Testing the Voltage:

Insert the plug from the power adapter in the receptacle or engage the power.

To test our power adapters with a DC jack: Place the metal part of the red wand inside of the DC jack and place the metal part of the black wand on the side of the metal part of the DC jack. It should look something like this:

To test our power supplies that do not contain a DC jack: Place the metal part of the red wand on the positive wire lead (should be red or indicated with a +) and place the metal part of the black wand on the negative wire lead (should be black/blue or indicated with a -). If the power adapter is screw terminal based, touch the red wand on the + terminal on the screw and the black wand on the - terminal on the screw.

To test the LED strip's voltage: Place the tip of the red wand on the copper pad on the side of the strip with the + and the tip of the black wand on the copper pad on the side of the strip with the -. This can be done on any of the copper pads on the strip. You may find the voltage very slightly decreases the farther along the strip you go. This generally has to do with voltage drop and is to be expected.

Importance of doing this:

Understanding how to check your voltage through these steps is important as it will allow you to better recognize where a problem might be occurring if there is lighting issues with your LED setup. If the voltage is well below 12 volts coming out of the power adapter, it would clearly be a problem with the adapter. On the other hand, if the LEDs are not bright but the adapter is registering at or around 12 volts, it may be an issue in the LED strip circuitry or perhaps an in-line controller if that is being used.

If you have further inquiries about LED related subjects, please send us an email at customerservice@hitlights.com or call us at 1-855-768-4135

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