Fire Marshall Bill

Gameroom lighting… What to do?

I went down a path of using a 12V switching power supply, LED Controllers and cut-to-length LED strips to provide a flexible lighting solution in my gameroom. The overhead work-lights are great for working on games but are not dimmable and have the ambiance of a automotive chop-shop in the shady part of town.

The LED strips have been pretty cool in that they can react to music, have flexible color options, were relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Unfortunately, they are also a fire hazard.

These are the LED Controllers that I’ve been using: LED Controller Link on Amazon

This is the power supply that I’ve been using: 12V Power Supply on Amazon

I’ve had two failure out of these LED Controllers in about 9 months.


Unfortunately, this last failure wasn’t restricted to just a puff a magic smoke being released and the corresponding LED strips going dark. This time, the internal short on the 12 volt side of the LED controller essentially turned the 16 gauge wires that ran to the power supply into a 3-foot long heater strip. The jacketing on the cabling melted, smoke rolling off of it like burgers on a grill that have been left on for too long.

The thing is, I put a perfectly capable 12 volt power supply on these and I undersized each run with only about 7-8 foot of LED on each one. 16 AWG wire is better than spec for this purpose. It is simply a matter of sketchy design on the LED controller itself. It should not be able to weld-itself closed circuit. Full Stop.