While the best Raspberry Pi Kits (link article here) include a power supply, sometimes you may want to get a spare power supply for extra voltage a new project may require. These power outlets will provide your SBC the right amount of charge to do whatever cool stuff you want.
This article includes the five best power supplies to handle the low-voltage issues. Please note, the different Raspberry Pi models have different power requirements. So, make sure you are picking the right one.
1. Official Raspberry Pi Foundation Power Supply
The manufacturer behind all the Pi-goodness has come up with their own power supply. This exceptional power source helps regulate a steady flow of power to your Raspberry Pi boards. It works on every Raspberry Pi except the new Raspberry Pi 4 because it uses a USB C connection for power.
It is rated for 5.1V and 3A of power and comes in two cool colors — black and white. As most wall warts are black, you can conveniently get a matching power supply. Not that Raspberry Pi boards consume a lot of power, but this power supply comes with an ERP Level 6 efficiency rating. Also, it comes with a thick and durable power cable. This ensures the cable won’t snap even after years of use.
Our only minor gripe is that it has no in-line power switch. An in-line power switch is crucial for proper post-shutdown restarting of the Raspberry Pi for some operating systems. Overall, it’s perfect for the power-hungry RPG 3B+ boards. Sure, it’s pricier than other alternatives, but it beats the competitors to the pulp in doing away with all under-voltage errors.
Buy Here: Amazon
2. Mackertop 1.2M Raspberry Pi 3 Power Supply
The Mackertop Power Brick is an ideal option for RPi 3, 3b, and 3b+ models. It is lightweight, easy to carry, and performs exceptionally well by providing 5.25V 3A or 3000mA to your Raspberry Pi board. Besides, its power cord is just the right length at 3.9 feet.
This power supply comes in two models. Their primary difference comes down to extra voltage. The 5.25v 3A model gives a slight amount of extra voltage that compensates for any voltage drop from utilizing a NESPi case. The newer Raspberry Pi 3b+ is less tolerant to voltage drops due to the higher power of the higher clocked processor.
What we really love about this model is its safe charging feature. It protects your device against over-charging, over-current, or over-heating once plugged in. Loaded and unloaded voltages remain within the USB specs, therefore you get rid of the low voltage warnings for USB power apps.
That said, the Mackertop RPi 3 power supply comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a one-year service warranty to protect your investment.
Buy Here: Amazon
3. CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Power Supply
If you are looking for a budget-friendly yet exceptional power supply with a longer cord, then the CanaKit power supply is your ideal candidate. It has a 5 feet cable that comes with an inline noise filter to get rid of any sound interference with your equipment.
The power adapter is UL listed and tested with most versions of Raspberry Pi such as the Pi 2, Pi 3, and Pi 3 B+ for excellent performance. With this adapter, you can power up the Raspberry Pi at maximum load and up to 1.2A across all USB ports. And it will still have 0.5 Volts to spare.
As for the build, it’s certainly not a sturdy one. But it’s acceptable quality. If you don’t throw the adapter around, then you shouldn’t have any problem. The cable is long enough and plugs snugly into the Raspberry Pi board.
Overall, the CanaKit power supply is a very dependable option for anyone who loves to overclock their Raspberry Pi. Overclocking needs more power, which a cheap power adapter will fail to provide.
Buy Here: Amazon
4. MICRO CONNECTORS Power Adapter
This is a power adapter for Raspberry Pi 4 and other SBC with a USB C connector. It is compact, lightweight, and comes in a sturdy plastic housing for long-term durability. Plus, it comes at an affordable cost.
Moreover, it brings DOE Level VI Efficiency to your SBCs, ensuring that the No-Load power consumption never exceeds 0.100 W for EPS. Furthermore, it is UL and FCC Approved giving you Overload Circuit and Short Circuit Protection under all circumstances.
The adapter also hosts an inline power on and off switching. Therefore, you can conveniently power on or off your equipment when needed. Our only disappointment is the 47-inch cord length, coming short of even 4 feet.
But, that’s a minor gripe. The Micro Connector’s power adapter provides 5V 3A power to your Raspberry Pi 4 regardless of the type of case you are using. And the price is also very competitive in the market, to say the least.
Buy Here: Amazon
5. Yuconn Micro USB Main Wall Charger
The Yuconn power adapter is another excellent option to get rid of low-voltage issues. It is lightweight and comes at a very market-competitive price. Plus, it has a handy on-off switch that lets you turn on/off your power easily.
The wall charger provides 5V 3A output power, and it comes with a convenient LED indicator function. This lets you know whether the device is currently powered on or off. Additionally, the black-colored device is available in three different models, making it compatible with Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Kit, whether it’s 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB.
The Yuconn AC power supply is solid and can be considered heat resistant. We have powered our Raspberry Pi, a 7-inch touch screen, and all the peripherals for two weeks at the same time, and the Yuconn AC power supply never gets hot.
Last but not least, this PSU comes with a 12-month manufacturer warranty. So, if anything goes wrong, you can always replace it or get a refund. While these features are enough to make it worth the money, the fact that it adds the functionality of an on and off switch to the Raspberry Pi makes this PSU a no-brainer.
Buy Here: Amazon
Best Raspberry Pi Power Supply – Buyer’s Guide
Most of the time, the Raspberry Pi malfunctions are a result of a bad PSU. Below are the things you need to keep in mind for a dependable power supply.
The Raspberry Pi power requirements differ according to the model you are using. While all the models require a 5.1 volts power, the current supply usually increases with the model. Up to Pi 3, all models require a micro-USB power connector. On the other hand, Pi 4 uses a USB-C power connector.
The amount of current it needs depends on the number of peripherals connected to it. For instance, here’s a breakdown of current requirements for some popular Raspberry Pi models:
- Pi model A : recommended 700mA, Max USB peripherals draw 500mA, bare board current consumption 200mA
- Pi model B : recommended 1.2A, Max USB peripherals draw 500mA, bare board current consumption 500mA
- Pi model B+ : recommended 1.8A, Max USB peripherals draw 1.2A, bare board current consumption 330mA
- Pi 3 Model B: recommended 2.5A, Max USB peripherals draw limited by ratings only, bare board current consumption 350mA
- Pi 4 Model B: recommended 3A, Max USB peripherals draw limited by ratings only, bare board current consumption 100mA
- Pi Zero: recommended 1.2A, Max USB peripherals draw limited by ratings only, bare board current consumption 100mA
Below is a brief breakdown of the power requirements of the different interfaces:
- GPIO Pins: 50mA (individual GPIO pin withdraws only 16mA)
- HDMI Port: 50mA
- Camera module: 250mA
- Keyboard and mouse: 100mA to 1000mA+
Since Raspberry PI B+, except for the zero models, all others come with a low-voltage detection mechanism. If the voltage drops below the 4.63 level, they result in a warning sign on the attached screen and an entry to the kernel log. Now, there can be several reasons for low voltage. For example, if the supply is inadequate, the cables are too thin to carry the current, or your demand is too high. Low power can not only corrupt your SD card, result in crashes, and erratic behavior, but it can also damage your Raspberry Pi.
Backpowering is when your USB hub does not come with a diode that stops it from powering up against the host. Other hubs will offer the required power via each port. Remember that some hubs backfeeds the Pi. So they power up the Raspberry Pi through their USB input cable, without depending on a separate micro-USB power cable. Hence, they can bypass the voltage protection mechanism. In case you are using a hub that backfeeds to the Pi and there is a sudden power surge, your Raspberry Pi circuit board will get roasted.
In the end, there’s nothing more frustrating than chasing down some system snags or minor peripheral issues such as Wi-FI and camera, only to find out that you have low power. So, make sure you are getting one of the best Raspberry Pi power supply. All the power hubs mentioned above are top-class and should serve you well. Just confirm you know your power requirements, and what the adapter is offering.