LEDs and LED Drivers
Choosing the correct LED or driver can be a difficult task. Please use following articles as a reference to help you along the way. As always, refer to manufacturer’s datasheets for exact specifications while keeping safety in mind.
Constant Current or Constant Voltage LED Drivers
For a new design of some complexity, you will need to figure out the best combination of LED specifications and their wiring configuration to match an LED driver. This may take a little homework, as you will need to match up the LED voltages and current requirements per certain LED branches and lengths. You will need to know the voltage and current requirements of your LEDs, and the wiring configuration of the LED strip(s) and some…
The first thing that you need to determine when looking to replace an existing
LED driver is to determine if the driver is a constant current or constant voltage. Many manufacturers such as the Thomas Research Products driver pictured below will state right on the label which they are.
If you are replacing a constant current driver, make sure the current is identical on the new driver. You will also want to make sure the power rating and efficiency is equal or higher, and the voltage o…
When it comes to LEDs, LED Strips or LED modules it is a good idea to use a LED Driver to keep the brightness the same.
There are two types of drivers.
Constant Voltage - This type of driver will have a Fixed Voltage Output. This will depend on the LED voltage rating. It will be a fixed output. The current output for the driver will have a max rating. If the circuit does not draw more that what is required it will work.
Constant Current - This type of Driver will have a Fixed Current Outp…
How a circuit is wired will determine the voltage and current needed to properly operate the circuit. Below you will see two circuits using five LEDs 160-1445-1-ND. This is a 2V 20mA LED. As you can see there is a drastic difference in the voltage and current needed to operate each of these circuits.
Parallel components have the same voltage across them but fluctuating currents.
Series components have the same current through them but fluctuating voltages.
Here at Digi-Key we sell many different types of LEDs. When looking at LED linear strips we typically have two types different types.
Hard or board strips
These strips come in fixed lengths are not flexible and will normally have solder pads on the end to solder your wires to.
Let’s look at part
For example, this strip has multiple parallel branches of 3 LEDs wired in series. Series-parallel combinations allow the LED strip to be cut at certain sections. These can use …
When searching the
Digi-Key website for LED assemblies, you may come across three different types - LED engines, LED modules, and Chips On Board (COBs). The needs of your specific project will determine what the best LED assembly is for you.
An LED engine is what one might think of as a ‘complete’ LED assembly. Engines come with integrated current limiting circuitry and are as plug-and-play as this particular product type can reasonably get. One supplies power to an LED engine and t…
This is a small article on some of the causes of constant current premature LED lighting failure.
“I have state of the art LEDs and a constant current driver, why are they burning out?”
Although LEDs have a longer life and are more efficient than other types of lighting systems, they are also much more sensitive -especially when incorrectly used on constant current systems. Premature failure of an LED lighting system can result because of improper wiring, heat sinking, or driver being used. Yo…