The 12-volt power supply can be used by a large number of electronic circuits while the 5-volt supply voltage is needed by many low voltage electronic circuits.
Now, if you have a 12-volt supply or battery and need to get a 5 volt supply source for your application, how do you do it? How to convert 12v into 5v, you just need to find the circuit that can do this conversion.
While we drive 12 volts or higher most of the time, we often need the 5 volts output for digital application. 12v to 5v code before the digital circuit was using a power supply with no regulation.
Conversion from 12v to 5v can help us to save power and provide better efficiency in all circuits. We will discuss why we need to reduce 12v into 5volts and how it can be done.
Today I’ll be talking about reducing the voltage from 12v to 5v, one of the most common circuits out there. It is used in almost all external devices that make use of a power source.
Now given the fact that most equipment requires power to operate, this brings us to the problem of finding a suitable source for the voltage.
How To Reduce Voltage From 12v to 5v – Easy Methods!
First of all, let us check out why we need to reduce 12 volts down to 5 volts? The reason is that 5 volts are the standard output for most digital applications.
There are other requirements too, but I won’t go into them at the moment. To reduce 12v to 5v we need a circuit known as DC-to-DC step-down converter.
The main components of this circuit are an inductor and a transistor, but the exact type requires research.
The most common way to produce reduced voltage from 12v or higher is by using buck converters or with buck/boost regulators, therefore one of them should be used in the design.
Here I will discuss different methods to convert 12v to 5v.
1. Using a buck converter
The most common way to produce reduced voltage from 12v or higher is by using buck converters. A buck converter can be easily made with the use of an inductor and a transistor, but it has its disadvantages like that it cannot deliver a high current.
In this method, the 12v supply from a battery is reduced to 5v by using a transistor and an inductor. The main components of a buck converter are a diode, a capacitor, and a coil. These three components work to reduce the voltage from 12v to 5v.
2. Using a buck/boost regulator
The second method of reducing 12v to 5v is by using a buck/boost regulator. A Buck-boost converter can be used in some cases, but it’s more expensive and complex than a normal one.
In this method, we can use a step-down regulator instead of a buck converter to reduce 12v to 5v. This method has a lot of advantages including the ability to handle high current and voltage.
3. Using an Arduino
In this method, we can reduce 12 volts down to 5 volts by using a simple circuit made from components available in most homes.
In this method, we have to use a circuit called the LM7805 regulator which is built into a chip. It can reduce 12v down to 5v.
The main components of the circuit are a transistor, a more zen diode and an LM7805 regulator integrated circuit The Arduino UNO is used for this purpose as it includes all components needed for the circuit.
This method has no limitation in terms of current or voltage and is highly efficient. If you want to learn how to use an Arduino then follow this link.
4. By using an IC voltage regulator
This method is typically used in cases where the circuit needs a stable and accurate voltage. In this method, the 12 volts are reduced by using a 7805 IC voltage regulator.
The main components of the circuit are an inductor, two capacitors, and a transistor. This method reduces the voltage from 12v to 5 volts and is free from fluctuations.
The difference between this method and the previous one is that it has a higher current capacity, The main drawback of the circuit is that the output will be unstable if we don’t include an inductor or capacitor to stabilize it.
5. Using a transistor
In the last method, a high current is used to reduce 12v down to 5v. This current comes from a power supply and it can be regulated by using a PWM controller or microcontroller along with a transistor.
The microcontroller can be easily programmed to control the width of the pulses, but it is highly complex and needs research for further understanding.
How to Reduce the Voltage From 12v to 5v Using a Resistor?
In this method, we have to use a resistor of at least 330 ohms and a 5v LED diode to reduce the voltage from 12 volts down to 5 volts.
The diode has a small internal resistance which is about 1 volt, so it will reduce the power delivered by the resistor using this electricity.
This method requires some calculations as the resistor has to be of a specific value. If the current flowing through the resistor is 0.02 ampere, then its power will be 2 watts and resistance must be at least 330 ohms.
This method is less efficient than the previous one but it is easy to use and you can find all components easily in a home or shop.
How to Reduce the Voltage From 12v to 5v Using Diodes?
This method is simple and easy to understand. We can use 4 diodes of 1N4007 to reduce the voltage down to 5 volts. The diodes act as switches which are on when they receive electricity and off when there is no electricity.
If we join the diodes in a circuit as shown in the figure, then electricity can flow from V1 to 2 and 2 to 3 but cannot flow from 1 to 3. That means that the battery will charge capacitors C1 through D2 and D3.
When capacitor C1 is fully charged then it will block the connection between two points which also stops the flow of electricity.
This method is highly efficient and requires fewer components when compared to the previous methods which are complex.
This method has a disadvantage in that when the battery is fully charged the capacitor stops receiving electricity which means that the voltage regulator will not work if the current flowing through it is more than 0.1 amperes or 100 milliamps.
The other disadvantage is that it doesn’t work if the voltage of the battery is more than 6 volts.
This article outlines various ways in which voltage can be reduced by using different components that are easily available in electronic shops.
These methods have their respective advantages and disadvantages which should be considered before applying them to your project. A combination of various methods can also be used if the project requires high voltage.
However, it is highly recommended that you use a Zener diode as it will protect your circuit from large currents and capacitor C1 must have a high voltage rating so that it doesn’t break when full current is passing through it for a long time.
Therefore, getting a voltage regulator is a must if you want to do complex projects. A Zener diode can be used for simple projects but it doesn’t have current and voltage limitations which may lead to the failure of your circuit.
In other words, voltage regulation should be done effectively because higher voltage or current could damage electronic components.
Frequently Asked Questions
The easiest among all methods to reduce voltage is using a Zener diode. It can be easily found in electronic shops and doesn’t require complicated calculations.
On the other hand, this method has no current or voltage limitation which means that you can use it for various purposes.
You can either use a resistor or a diode to reduce the voltage from 10 volts down to 5 volts. It is highly recommended that you use a Zener diode as it doesn’t require additional components.
The power supply is used when we cannot use a voltage regulator, such as when we need high current or voltage. A power supply doesn’t regulate voltage so it can be unstable.
A voltage regulator is used when we need a constant voltage. Voltage regulators are more advanced but the power supplies can be used as voltage regulators by using resistors and capacitors.
This method requires two inductors and two transistors which you can find easily in local hardware stores. The Arduino UNO is used to switch on and off the transistors so that the voltage regulator can work.
Voltage regulators have various advantages but the most important among them are listed below:
1. They can be used in cars, boats, etc for various purposes
2. It is easy to use them in complex projects
3. They are highly efficient
4. Voltage regulators can be used in various ways to reduce voltage
5. Voltage regulators have different power limits which can help you determine the right one for your project.
I am Baker Hughes and I live in the USA. I am an electrical engineer and work with 12 Volt products. I want to explore this section more because it is an area of interest for me that has been developed over time. I have 10 Years of experience with 12 Volt products, specifically wiring, installation, guide, reviews, and troubleshooting.