# How Do You Wire RGB LED Speakers? Do you want to add LED speakers to your boat but you don't know how to wire them? Do you want the ability to switch the LEDs between 20 different colors and 19 different modes? Do you know how to determine which RGB LED controller is best for your application? This article will explain and show you how to wire your RGB speakers to static colors, explain how an RGB LED controller works, and help you determine the best RGB LED controller for your boat. ## What are RGB LED Marine Speakers? RGB LED speakers are boat speakers that have RGB LEDs built into the speaker itself, either behind the cone or through the speaker grille. The RGB LEDs illuminate the speaker cone and give your boat an improved appearance, especially if you are out at night. In most speakers, the LEDs are integrated into the grille and shine back onto the cone. JL Audio features their Transflective technology where the speaker or subwoofer cone is translucent and the RGB LEDs are located behind the cone by the speaker magnet. ## Speaker Wire The most common way to get power to the LEDs is with RGB speaker wire. Standard, two conductor speaker wire will get the power from the amplifier or stereo to the speakers, but it is not going to give the LEDs power. Instead, most people use RGB speaker wire which is jacketed cable that includes the 2 conductors for both positive and negative for the speaker, but it also has 4 additional, smaller wires for the LEDs. There is usually a red wire, a green wire, a blue wire, and a black wire. The black wire needs a 12V constant for power. You can often times connect it to the remote wire connection on the amplifier or you can wire the black, power wire to a switch so that you can tun the LEDs on if the stereo is not on. ## LED Color Since the black wire is the power source, whichever color wires you ground will illuminate. If you ground the red wire, the speaker will light up red. If you ground the green wire, the speaker will light up green. If you ground the blue wire, the speakers will light up blue. You can also ground multiple color wires for colors such as purple, lime green, aquamarine and more. The colors vary by speaker manufacturer but if you ground both red and blue, the speaker will light up purple. Red and green make lime green. Green and blue make aquamarine. If you ground red, white, and blue you get a blue-white color. ## RGB Controller If you want more color options and/or you want the LEDs in your speakers to change cycle between colors, you will need an RGB LED controller. Some of them are linline micro-controllers and others require their own 12 volt power and ground. With an RGB controller, you wire the red, green, and blue wires into the RGB controller as it's name implies, allows you to control the LEDs via a remote. ### Which RGB Controller Do I Need? There are several different RGB controllers available and they range from $40 up to $200. The biggest difference between most of them is the current rating. Before selecting an RGB controller, you first need to find out how much current the LEDs will draw. The owner's manual of your speakers should tell you the current draw for each LED speaker or subwoofer. It usually ranges between 200-700 mA. Once you find out the current draw for each speakers, add the amperage up in milli amps and then divide by 1000. This will give you the current draw of the LEDs. Make sure not to go over it. The two most popular RGB LED controllers are the Kicker KMLC and the Stinger SPXRGBC. The Kicker one has a standard remote control, the Stinger one uses an app on your phone. The Kicker device is rated at 4 amps while the Stinger is rated at 10. For the most part, the Stinger RGB LED controller should be able to handle just about every marine stereo system out there. For example If I have 4 speakers at 400mA, 2 subwoofer as 600mA and rings around my 4 tower speakers at 700mA (4x400) + (2x600) + (4x700) = 1600+1200+2800 = 4600 /1000 = 4.6A I would need to go with the Stinger RGB controller If just have 4 speakers at 400mA and the 2 subwoofers at 600mA (4x400) + (2x600) = 2800 / 1000 = 2.8A The Kicker LED controller would be fine.