I built a circuit to allow switching 12V from a 5V Arduino. Here is the wiring diagram and a picture of the actual circuit:
Get the Fritzing source HERE. The side with two connections attaches to the 12V device being switched ON/OFF. The side with three connectors, connects to the 12V source and Ground. It also connects to an Arduino PIN to do the ON/OFF switching.
The actual circuit (pictured above) is doubled and can handle switching two 12V devices. A PC power supply (converted to a ‘bench power supply’) can be used to power the Arduino and the 12V devices,
You can hook up a PC power supply and make a bench power supply with an adapter. That adapter easily attaches to the power supply and breaks out the 12V, Ground, 5V and 3.3V sources. Pictured below is an example of such an adapter:
The circuit switching 12V from a 5V Arduino comes in handy for a number of things. I am using it to turn on a 12V Emergency Alarm. Here are the two types (siren and siren with strobe) that I am using. They both work with 12V and Ground.
This circuit switching 12V from a 5V Arduino is part of a much larger home/office alarm system project I am working on.