When you need to connect a serial device to a USB port, use this converter cable with the individual lines already broken out. Based on the prolific PL2303TA chip, directly compatible with win XP/VISTA/7/8/8.1 systems and most other OS's.
The larger 3 watt RGB LEDs are very bright and colorful, but if you don't get the power just right - POOF! Now your RGB is R(nothin')B. The Star Controller tames this LED so you can power it up with 5 to 12V and use any regular 5V signal to control each channel.