LED strip ? - can I use different strips on same driver?

I bought some Bridelux EB Gen 3 strips a while back, and would like to add some of their newer EB Gen3 Thrive strips to an existing setup with a Meanwell HGL-185H-48 driver. Can I do this without issue.

The strips would be the same size 560mm, and the existing strips have an typical current of .700A at 19.1v for 13.4w. The new Thrive has two listed nominal currents for the same strip 480/960ma and 350/700. For the 700ma the voltage is a little higher than the regular gen3 at 19.9.

Here are the datasheets for both strips:

gen3: https://www.bridgelux.com/sites/default/files/resource_media/DS132%20Bridgelux%20EB%20Series%20Gen3%20Data%20Sheet%2020190617%20Rev%20A.pdf

gen3 thrive: https://www.bridgelux.com/sites/default/files/resource_media/DS133%20Bridgelux%20EB%20Series%20Thrive%20Data%20Sheet%20081320%20Rev%20A.pdf


Based on the part numbers mentioned some sort of series+parallel configuration is most likely in use. If the newer elements were added in such a way as to produce a uniform change in the forward voltage of all parallel-connected substrings, it would be possible.

Attempting parallel operation of elements with different forward voltages will produce an uneven current distribution and shorten the life of the assembly.

I have 10 strips that have 5 x series of 2. so 2 strips in series five times. Then those 5 series pairs are paralleled together. If I replace a series pair with the new strips would that work. Or would I have to replace 1 of the elements of a pair only. It’s unclear to me how the driver provides voltage.

All of the parallel-connected pairs should be configured identically for best results; either replace everything, or replace one of -all- of your five strings.

The driver is designed to produce whatever voltage (between 24 and 48v) is necessary to force 3.9A of current through its output. If the parallel strings have identical voltage characteristics, it gets split more or less evenly. If not, the sharing will be unequal. The 0.8v difference in forward voltage of the two LED strips mentioned is enough to make almost a factor-of-two difference in current flow.

By rough guesstimation, replacing 1 of the 5 series pairs with the new emitters would result in the old devices being driven at around 850mA, while the new pair would operate at around 500mA. While that’s probably not bad enough to cause things to “not work” it’s not good enough to make any sort of reasonable comparison between old and new, if that’s the objective.

Adding to the scenarios that Rick explained, it is the variance in the color spectrum that might also prove to be an issue. The Thrive series has a color spectrum marketed as ‘closer to natural light’, and the graphs for your original Gen 3 and the Gen 3 Thrive show the difference. Adding the Thrive spectrum to an existing setup is a valid concept, but not if the performance of either product (or both) is compromised.

There are different products within the Thrive series, too, so this might complicate the choice even further. Given the same situation, I would probably invest in a second driver since having a backup is always practical, and the price isn’t a deal breaker. This would allow you to operate the two types of strips separately and ensure correct performance. If one driver fails, you at least have the option of coverage from the other set of strips. You might be able to phase out (sell?) the original Gen 3 strips over time, too, or expand the two separate grids as needed (remember to have backup drivers, though).