High Power LED Driver Circuits (2022)

Introduction: High Power LED Driver Circuits

More by the author:

About: Dan Goldwater is a co-founder of Instructables. Currently he operates MonkeyLectric where he develops revolutionary bike lighting products. More About dan »

High-power LED's: the future of lighting!

but... how do you use them? where do you get them?

1-watt and 3-watt Power LED's are now widely available in the $3 to $5 range, so i've been working on a bunch of projects lately that use them. in the process it was bugging me that the only options anyone talks about for driving the LED's are: (1) a resistor, or (2) a really expensive electronic gizmo. now that the LED's cost $3, it feels wrong to be paying $20 for the device to drive them!

So I went back to my "Analog Circuits 101" book, and figured out a couple of simple circuits for driving power LED's that only cost $1 or $2.

This instructable will give you a blow-by-blow of all the different types of circuits for powering Big LED's, everything from resistors to switching supplies, with some tips on all of them, and of course will give much detail on my new simple Power LED driver circuits and when/how to use them (and i've got 3 other instructables so far that use these circuits). Some of this information ends up being pretty useful for small LED's too

here's my other power-LED instructables, check those out for other notes & ideas

This article is brought to you by MonkeyLectricand the Monkey Light bike light.

Step 1: Overview / Parts

There are several common methods out there for powering LED's. Why all the fuss? It boils down to this:
1) LED's are very sensitive to the voltage used to power them (ie, the current changes a lot with a small change in voltage)
2) The required voltage changes a bit when the LED is put in hot or cold air, and also depending on the color of the LED, and manufacturing details.

so there's several common ways that LED's are usually powered, and i'll go over each one in the following steps.

Parts

This project shows several circuits for driving power LED's. for each of the circuits i've noted at the relevant step the parts that are needed including part numbers that you can find at www.digikey.com . in order to avoid much duplicated content this project only discusses specific circuits and their pros and cons. to learn more about assembly techniques and to find out LED part numbers and where you can get them (and other topics), please refer to one of my other power LED projects.

Step 2: Power LED Performance Data - Handy Reference Chart

Below are some basic parameters of the Luxeon LED's which you will use for many circuits. I use the figures from this table in several projects, so here i'm just putting them all in one place that i can reference easily.

Luxeon 1 and 3 with no current (turn-off-point):
white/blue/green/cyan: 2.4V drop (= "LED forward voltage")
red/orange/amber: 1.8V drop

Luxeon-1 with 300mA current:
white/blue/green/cyan: 3.3V drop (= "LED forward voltage")
red/orange/amber: 2.7V drop

(Video) High Power Led driver | Cob Led driver | 1V To 12V Constant Current

Luxeon-1 with 800mA current (over spec):
all colors: 3.8V drop

Luxeon-3 with 300mA current:
white/blue/green/cyan: 3.3V drop
red/orange/amber: 2.5V drop

Luxeon-3 with 800mA current:
white/blue/green/cyan: 3.8V drop
red/orange/amber: 3.0V drop (note: my tests disagree with spec sheet)

Luxeon-3 with 1200mA current:
red/orange/amber: 3.3V drop (note: my tests disagree with spec sheet)

Typical values for regular "small" LED's with 20mA are:
red/orange/yellow: 2.0 V drop
green/cyan/blue/purple/white: 3.5V drop

Step 3: Direct Power!

Why not just connect your battery straight to the LED? It seems so simple! What's the problem? Can I ever do it?

The problem is reliability, consistency & robustness. As mentioned, the current through an LED is very sensitive to small changes in the voltage across the LED, and also to the ambient temperature of the LED, and also to the manufacturing variances of the LED. So when you just connect your LED to a battery you have little idea how much current is going through it. "but so what, it lit up, didn't it?". ok sure. depending on the battery, you might have way too much current (led gets very hot and burns out fast), or too little (led is dim). the other problem is that even if the led is just right when you first connect it, if you take it to a new environment which is hotter or colder, it will either get dim or too bright and burn out, because the led is very temperature sensitive. manufacturing variations can also cause variability.

So maybe you read all that, and you're thinking: "so what!". if so, plow ahead and connect right to the battery. for some applications it can be the way to go.

- Summary: only use this for hacks, don't expect it to be reliable or consistent, and expect to burn out some LED's along the way.

- One famous hack that puts this method to outstandingly good use is the LED Throwie.

Notes:

- if you are using a battery, this method will work best using *small* batteries, because a small battery acts like it has an internal resistor in it. this is one of the reasons the LED Throwie works so well.

- if you actually want to do this with a power-LED rather than a 3-cent LED, choose your battery voltage so that the LED will not be at full power. this is the other reason the LED Throwie works so well.

Step 4: The Humble Resistor

This is by far the most widely used method to power LED's. Just connect a resistor in series with your LED(s).

pros:
- this is the simplest method that works reliably
- only has one part
- costs pennies (actually, less than a penny in quantity)

cons:
- not very efficient. you must tradeoff wasted power against consistent & reliable LED brightness. if you waste less power in the resistor, you get less consistent LED performance.
- must change resistor to change LED brightness
- if you change power supply or battery voltage significantly, you need to change the resistor again.

How to do it:

There are a lot of great web pages out there already explaining this method. Typically you want to figure out:
- what value of resistor to use
- how to connect your led's in series or parallel

There's two good "LED Calculators" I found that will let you just enter the specs on your LED's and power supply, and they will design the complete series/parallel circuit and resistors for you!

http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
http://metku.net/index.html?sect=view&n=1&path=mods/ledcalc/index_eng

When using these web calculators, use the Power LED Data Handy Reference Chart for the current and voltage numbers the calculator asks you for.

if you are using the resistor method with power LED's, you'll quickly want to get a lot of cheap power resistors! here's some cheap ones from digikey: "Yageo SQP500JB" are a 5-watt resistor series.

Step 5: $witching Regulators

Switching regulators, aka "DC-to-DC", "buck" or "boost" converters, are the fancy way to power an LED. they do it all, but they are pricey. what is it they "do" exactly? the switching regulator can either step-down ("buck") or step-up ("boost") the power supply input voltage to the exact voltage needed to power the LED's. unlike a resistor it constantly monitors the LED current and adapts to keep it constant. It does all this with 80-95% power efficiency, no matter how much the step-down or step-up is.

Pros:
- consistent LED performance for a wide range of LED's and power supply
- high efficiency, usually 80-90% for boost converters and 90-95% for buck converters
- can power LED's from both lower or higher voltage supplies (step-up or step-down)
- some units can adjust LED brightness
- packaged units designed for power-LED's are available & easy to use

Cons:
- complex and expensive: typically about $20 for a packaged unit.
- making your own requires several parts and electrical engineering skillz.

One off-the-shelf device designed specially for power-led's is the Buckpuck from LED Dynamics. I used one of these in my power-led headlamp project and was quite happy with it. these devices are available from most of the LED web stores.

Step 6: The New Stuff!! Constant Current Source #1

lets get to the new stuff!

(Video) DEC #09 Constant Current High power LED driver using LM317

The first set of circuits are all small variations on a super-simple constant-current source.

Pros:
- consistent LED performance with any power supply and LED's
- costs about $1
- only 4 simple parts to connect
- efficiency can be over 90% (with proper LED and power supply selection)
- can handle LOTS of power, 20 Amps or more no problem.
- low "dropout" - the input voltage can be as little as 0.6 volts higher than the output voltage.
- super-wide operation range: between 3V and 60V input

Cons:
- must change a resistor to change LED brightness
- if poorly configured it may waste as much power as the resistor method
- you have to build it yourself (oh wait, that should be a 'pro').
- current limit changes a bit with ambient temperature (may also be a 'pro').

So to sum it up: this circuit works just as well as the step-down switching regulator, the only difference is that it doesn't guarantee 90% efficiency. on the plus side, it only costs $1.

Simplest version first:

"Low Cost Constant Current Source #1"

This circuit is featured in my simple power-led light project.

How does it work?

- Q2 (a power NFET) is used as a variable resistor. Q2 starts out turned on by R1.

- Q1 (a small NPN) is used as an over-current sensing switch, and R3 is the "sense resistor" or "set resistor" that triggers Q1 when too much current is flowing.

- The main current flow is through the LED's, through Q2, and through R3. When too much current flows through R3, Q1 will start to turn on, which starts turning off Q2. Turning off Q2 reduces the current through the LED's and R3. So we've created a "feedback loop", which continuously monitors the LED current and keeps it exactly at the set point at all times. transistors are clever, huh!

- R1 has high resistance, so that when Q1 starts turning on, it easily overpowers R1.

- The result is that Q2 acts like a resistor, and its resistance is always perfectly set to keep the LED current correct. Any excess power is burned in Q2. Thus for maximum efficiency, we want to configure our LED string so that it is close to the power supply voltage. It will work fine if we don't do this, we'll just waste power. this is really the only downside of this circuit compared to a step-down switching regulator!

setting the current!

the value of R3 determines the set current.

Calculations:
- LED current is approximately equal to: 0.5 / R3
- R3 power: the power dissipated by the resistor is approximately: 0.25 / R3. choose a resistor value at least 2x the power calculated so the resistor does not get burning hot.

so for 700mA LED current:
R3 = 0.5 / 0.7 = 0.71 ohms. closest standard resistor is 0.75 ohms.
R3 power = 0.25 / 0.71 = 0.35 watts. we'll need at least a 1/2 watt rated resistor.

Parts used:

R1: small (1/4 watt) approximately 100k-ohm resistor (such as: Yageo CFR-25JB series)
R3: large (1 watt+) current set resistor. (a good 2-watt choice is: Panasonic ERX-2SJR series)
Q2: large (TO-220 package) N-channel logic-level FET (such as: Fairchild FQP50N06L)
Q1: small (TO-92 package) NPN transistor (such as: Fairchild 2N5088BU)

Maximum limits:

the only real limit to the current source circuit is imposed by NFET Q2. Q2 limits the circuit in two ways:

1) power dissipation. Q2 acts as a variable resistor, stepping down the voltage from the power supply to match the need of the LED's. so Q2 will need a heatsink if there is a high LED current or if the power source voltage is a lot higher than the LED string voltage. (Q2 power = dropped volts * LED current). Q2 can only handle 2/3 watt before you need some kind of heatsink. with a large heatsink, this circuit can handle a LOT of power & current - probably 50 watts and 20 amps with this exact transistor, but you can just put multiple transistors in parallel for more power.

2) voltage. the "G" pin on Q2 is only rated for 20V, and with this simplest circuit that will limit the input voltage to 20V (lets say 18V to be safe). if you use a different NFET, make sure to check the "Vgs" rating.

thermal sensitivity:

the current set-point is somewhat sensitive to temperature. this is because Q1 is the trigger, and Q1 is thermally sensitive. the part nuber i specified above is one of the least thermally sensitive NPN's i could find. even so, expect perhaps a 30% reduction in current set point as you go from -20C to +100C. that may be a desired effect, it could save your Q2 or LED's from overheating.

Step 7: Constant Current Source Tweaks: #2 and #3

these slight modifications on circuit #1 address the voltage limitation of the first circuit. we need to keep the NFET Gate (G pin) below 20V if we want to use a power source greater than 20V. it turns out we also want to do this so we can interface this circuit with a microcontroller or computer.

in circuit #2, i added R2, while in #3 i replaced R2 with Z1, a zener diode.

circuit #3 is the best one, but i included #2 since it's a quick hack if you don't have the right value of zener diode.

we want to set the G-pin voltage to about 5 volts - use a 4.7 or 5.1 volt zener diode (such as: 1N4732A or 1N4733A) - any lower and Q2 won't be able to turn all the way on, any higher and it won't work with most microcontrollers. if your input voltage is below 10V, switch R1 for a 22k-ohm resistor, the zener diode doesn't work unless there is 10uA going through it.

after this modification, the circuit will handle 60V with the parts listed, and you can find a higher-voltage Q2 easily if needed.

Step 8: A Little Micro Makes All the Difference

Now what? connect to a micro-controller, PWM or a computer!

(Video) How to make an LED driver circuit

now you've got a fully digital controlled high-power LED light.

the micro-controller's output pins are only rated for 5.5V usually, that's why the zener diode is important.

if your micro-controller is 3.3V or less, you need to use circuit #4, and set your micro-controller's output pin to be "open collector" - which allows the micro to pull down the pin, but lets the R1 resistor pull it up to 5V which is needed to fully turn on Q2.

if your micro is 5V, then you can use the simpler circuit #5, doing away with Z1, and set the micro's output pin to be normal pull-up/pull-down mode - the 5V micro can turn on Q2 just fine by itself.

now that you've got a PWM or micro connected, how do you make a digital light control? to change the brightness of your light, you "PWM" it: you blink it on and off rapidly (200 Hz is a good speed), and change the ratio of on-time to off-time.

this can be done with just a few lines of code in a micro-controller. to do it using just a '555' chip, try this circuit. to use that circuit get rid of M1, D3 and R2, and their Q1 is our Q2.

Step 9: Another Dimming Method

ok, so maybe you don't want to use a microcontroller? here's another simple modification on "circuit #1"

the simplest way to dim the LED's is to change the current set-point. so we'll change R3!

shown below, i added R4 an a switch in parallel with R3. so with the switch open, the current is set by R3, with the switch closed, the current is set by the new value of R3 in parallel with R4 - more current. so now we've got "high power" and "low power" - perfect for a flashlight.

perhaps you'd like to put a variable-resistor dial for R3? unfortunately, they don't make them in such a low resistance value, so we need something a bit more complicated to do that.

(see circuit #1 for how to choose the component values)

Step 10: The Analog Adjustable Driver

This circuit lets you have an adjustable-brightness, but without using a microcontroller. It's fully analog! it costs a little more - about $2 or $2.50 total - i hope you won't mind.

The main difference is that the NFET is replaced with a voltage regulator. the voltage regulator steps-down the input voltage much like the NFET did, but it is designed so that its output voltage is set by the ratio between two resistors (R2+R4, and R1).

The current-limit circuit works the same way as before, in this case it reduces the resistance across R2, lowering the output of the voltage regulator.

This circuit lets you set the voltage on the LED's to any value using a dial or slider, but it also limits the LED current as before so you can't turn the dial past the safe point.

I used this circuit in my RGB Color Controlled Room/Spot lighting project.

please see the above project for part numbers and resistor value selection.

this circuit can operate with an input voltage from 5V to 28V, and up to 5 amps current (with a heatsink on the regulator)

Step 11: An *even Simpler* Current Source

ok, so it turns out there's an even simpler way to make a constant-current source. the reason i didn't put it first is that it has at least one significant drawback too.

This one doesn't use an NFET or NPN transistor, it just has a single Voltage Regulator.

Compared to the previous "simple current source" using two transistors, this circuit has:

- even fewer parts.
- much higher "dropout" of 2.4V, which will significantly reduce efficiency when powering only 1 LED. if you're powering a string of 5 LED's, perhaps not such a big deal.
- no change in current set-point when temperature changes
- less current capacity (5 amps - still enough for a lot of LED's)

how to use it:

resistor R3 sets the current. the formula is: LED current in amps = 1.25 / R3

so for a current of 550mA, set R3 to 2.2 ohms
you'll need a power resistor usually, R3 power in watts = 1.56 / R3

this circuit also has the drawback that the only way to use it with a micro-controller or PWM is to turn the entire thing on and off with a power FET.

and the only way to change the LED brightness is to change R3, so refer to the earlier schematic for "circuit #5" which shows adding a low/high power switch in.

regulator pinout:
ADJ = pin 1
OUT = pin 2
IN = pin 3

parts:
regulator: either LD1585CV or LM1084IT-ADJ
capacitor: 10u to 100u capacitor, 6.3 volt or greater (such as: Panasonic ECA-1VHG470)
resistor: a 2-watt resistor minimum (such as: Panasonic ERX-2J series)

(Video) Easy DIY LED Driver

you can build this with pretty much any linear voltage regulator, the two listed have a good general performance and price. the classic "LM317" is cheap, but the dropout is even higher - 3.5 volts total in this mode. there are now a lot of surface mount regulators with ultra-low dropouts for low current use, if you need to power 1 LED from a battery these can be worth looking into.

Step 12: Haha! There's an Even Easier Way!

I'm embarrassed to say i did not think of this method myself, i learned of it when i disassembled a flashlight that had a high brightnesss LEDinside it.

--------------
Put a PTCresistor (aka a "PTCresettable fuse") in series with your LED. wow. doesn't get easier than that.
--------------

ok. Although simple, this method has some drawbacks:

- Your driving voltage can only be slightly higher than the LED"on" voltage. This is because PTCfuses are not designed for getting rid of a lot of heat so you need to keep the dropped voltage across the PTC fairly low. you can glue your ptc to a metal plate to help a bit.

- You won't be able to drive your LED at its maximum power. PTCfuses do not have a very accurate "trip"current. Typically they vary by a factor of 2 from the rated trip point. So, if you have a LEDthat needs 500mA, and you get a PTCrated at 500mA, you will end up with anywhere from 500mAto 1000mA - not safe for the LED. The only safe choice of PTCis a bit under-rated. Get the 250mA PTC, then your worst case is 500mA which the LEDcan handle.

-----------------

Example:
For a single LEDrated about 3.4V and 500mA. Connect in series with a PTCrated about 250 mA. Driving voltage should be about 4.0V.

High Power LED Driver Circuits (5)

Participated in the
The Instructables Book Contest

11 People Made This Project!

Recommendations

INap Malinka, Your NRF24L01 Transmitter That Can Play Pokemon by leonek in Raspberry Pi

39 2.6K

Smart WATER BUBBLES LAMP by DIY_MVB in LEDs

249 15K

SPECTRUM ANALYZER WITH STEAMPUNK NIXIE LOOK by emdee401 in Audio

121 9.4K

PC Mouse Becomes a Robot (MouseBot) by Tony--K in Robots

126 13K

(Video) Constant Current LED Driver With Single IC RM9003 (6V to 600V)

  • Teach With Tinkercad Contest

  • Back to School: Student Design Challenge

  • Fiber Arts Challenge

FAQs

Can I use a higher wattage driver for LED? ›

More and more people are replacing incandescent bulbs in their homes with LED bulbs. One of the most common questions, people ask is: “Is it Okay to use LED bulbs with higher wattage equivalents than my fixtures allow?” The answer is YES.

What happens if you overload an LED driver? ›

Correct Power Supply

In addition, one of the most common problems is overloading the driver as people connect too many strings in a series. This can result in the voltage being too low for the last strings in the series.

How do you drive a high power LED? ›

The most efficient way to drive high-current LEDs is to use a DC-DC converter with current feedback. DC-DC converters are efficient power-conversion circuits that use passive, low-pass LC filters to smooth out switching action into constant voltages.

What wattage LED driver do I need? ›

We recommend choosing a driver with a wattage capability at least 10% higher than the wattage the LED tape requires to ensure a longer lifespan. For example, 5m of 6w LED tape requires 30 watts. We would recommend using a driver with an output capability of 33 watts or more to power this tape.

Which driver is best for LED lights? ›

CC drivers are often the most popular choice for LED applications. CC LED drivers can be used for individual bulbs or a chain of LEDs in series. A series means that the LEDs are all mounted together in line, for the current to flow through each one.

What happens if I put a 75 watt LED bulb in a 60 watt? ›

If your fixture is rated to accept 60 Watts, you can safely use 75W, 100W, or even 125W equal bulbs (which all draw less than 50 Watts of power) instead.

What happens if you put too little voltage through an LED? ›

If the current and/or voltage is too low the LEDs will appear too dim, or fail to light at all.

What is the maximum voltage for LED? ›

LED V/I characteristics
CharacteristicsUnitMaximum
Forward voltage (@350mA, 85°C)V3.48

How many LEDs can a 12V battery power? ›

So if your source is 12v, and your LEDs have a voltage drop of 3.5, 12/3.5v, gives you 3 LEDs.

How do I choose an LED driver for my LED? ›

5 Important Factors When Buying LED Drivers
  1. Output Voltage / Current. First, consider the voltage requirements of your light. ...
  2. Input Voltage / Current. Next, consider the voltage supply of the location you'll be using your light. ...
  3. Max Wattage. Lastly, consider the wattage requirements of your light. ...
  4. IP Ratings.
15 May 2014

Why do LED drivers get hot? ›

A regular power supply will provide a constant voltage through the circuit. However, as LEDs are on, they will gradually start to heat up. The hotter the bulbs get, the less forward voltage they emit. As a result, the LEDs draw more current and continue to get hotter and hotter until they burn out.

What is the output voltage of LED driver? ›

LEDs are designed to run on low voltage (12-24V), direct-current electricity. However, most places supply higher voltage (120-277V), alternating current electricity.

How many LEDs can you run with a driver? ›

The maximum number of LEDs you can run from a single driver is determined by dividing the maximum output voltage of the driver by the forward voltage of your LED(s). When using LuxDrive drivers, you determine the maximum output voltage by subtracting 2 volts from your input voltage.

Is an LED driver just a transformer? ›

LED Drivers vs Transformers

Although similar in operation, LED Drivers are different from transformers. Whereas transformers convert an “input” voltage to an “output” voltage, both functioning on an Alternating Current, LED Drivers convert AC to DC and subsequently supply a constant current to the LED.

Do LED drivers need ventilation? ›

LED drivers need to be mounted in a ventilated space. Access to the driver needs to be provided for general maintenance purposes.

What is the difference between LED driver and power supply? ›

LED power sources that provide a “constant-current” output have typically been referred to as LED drivers. In the past, AC-DC power supplies that provided a regulated “constant-voltage” to LEDs were referred to as LED power supplies. Today, the terms “LED driver” and “LED power supply” are used interchangeably.

How many types of LED drivers are there? ›

There are two types of LED drivers: Constant Current LED drivers and Constant Voltage LED drivers.

Why do you need a driver for LED lights? ›

Why do you need a driver for LED lights? Because LEDs require a constant direct current of 12v or 24v, which is much lower than the voltage that the mains power supplies, all LED lights need an LED driver to convert the power supply into a more suitable one. This helps to prevent burnout and can lower the risk of fire.

What LED wattage is equivalent to 100W? ›

10 Watt

WHAT LED bulb equals 60 watts? ›

A 60-watt incandescent light bulb can be replaced with a 10-watt LED.

What happens when you put a higher watt LED light bulb? ›

Using a light bulb with too high of wattage can lead to overheating of the light bulb. This heat can melt the light socket as well as the insulation of the wires. Once that happens, you put yourself at risk of arc faults, and this is something that could even lead to property fires.

Will higher voltage make LED brighter? ›

Adjusting the voltage lower or higher will change the brightness, but only because it also changes the current- higher voltage means the current will increase in an LED.

Is 12V too much for LED lights? ›

Quite intuitively, providing more than 12V DC on a 12V LED strip is not a good idea, because you may cause the LED strip to be over-driven, burning out the diodes or causing excessive heat buildup that can damage both the circuit and on-board components.

What happens if the voltage is too high? ›

Voltage that is too high can cause premature failure of electrical and electronic components (e.g. circuit boards) due to overheating. The damage caused by overheating is cumulative and irreversible.

What happens when an LED is directly connected to a power supply? ›

When LED is connected to a power supply with a voltage higher than its forward voltage, a current limiting resistor is connected in series with the LED. The current limiting resistor limits the current for the LED and regulates the difference in voltage drops between the LED and the power supply.

How many LEDs can you power with 5V? ›

This is called Kirchhoff's Voltage Law. So if you have a 5V power supply and each of your LEDs have a forward voltage drop of 2.4V then you can't power more than two at a time.

Can LED operate with AC voltage? ›

In most applications, LEDs are driven by a DC power supply, but AC offers several significant advantages. Lynk Labs has developed technology that allows LEDs to be driven directly from an AC supply. LEDs are usually considered to be DC devices, operating from a few volts of direct current.

Is it better to wire LEDs in series or parallel? ›

Series, Parallel, or Series/Parallel? The requirements of a lighting application often dictate what type of circuit can be used, but if given the choice, the most efficient way to run high power LEDs is using a series circuit with a constant current LED driver.

Do I need a resistor for each LED? ›

Resistors in Light Emitting Diode (LED) Circuits

Such a resistor is often called a ballast resistor. The ballast resistor is used to limit the current through the LED and to prevent excess current that can burn out the LED. If the voltage source is equal to the voltage drop of the LED, no resistor is required.

How long will a 12V battery last with LED lights? ›

A 100 ah, 12v battery should give you 1200 watt hours run time, or a little more that 36 hours of run time while running the mere 33 watt light string.

How do I know if my LED driver is bad? ›

Use a voltmeter and measure the output voltage of the LED driver. Constant current LED drivers may be at an exceedingly high voltage, so be careful. If the LEDs have failed the output voltage of the LED driver will be at its rated output (maximum voltage output for a constant current LED driver).

How long should LED drivers last? ›

The driver is the heart of the LED light, and driver life can range from 10,000 to over 50,000 hours, depending on the design features, heat sink efficiency, capacitor construction, and overall quality. The above graph compares the lifespans of various types of lighting.

Why are my LED lights glitching? ›

The most common cause of flickering LED lights is a poorly matched LED power supply, otherwise known as a LED driver. LED lights either require a constant current LED driver or constant voltage LED driver. There is no hard and fast rule as to what type of input certain types of LED lights require.

How do you test an LED driver with a multimeter? ›

How to Measure Output Current of an LED Driver When mA Is Not Known

What causes LED driver failure? ›

The LEDs usually fail, because they have been connected to a constant LED driver in parallel. If the LEDs have failed you may want to also replace the LED driver. We usually recommend using a model with an adjustable output, and trimming down the output voltage slightly, to avoid over powering the LEDs.

Can you repair a LED driver? ›

LED Driver Replacement is a difficult process. When an LED fixture fails you need to either purchase a new fixture or replace the driver. In most scenarios it's the LED driver that needs replacement (LED components have a longer shelf life).

Can you reset a LED driver? ›

There is no way to reset it other than unplugging and plugging back in again, usually after a power outage. If you have LED lights that turn on at random times during the day, then this likely needs to be done. Other reasons that you may need to reset your LED strip is if it does not work after being installed.

Do LEDs really last 50000 hours? ›

While incandescent light bulbs were built to last around 1,000 hours, the most enduring LED light fixtures have been tested to last as long as 100,000 hours. On average LED light bulbs will not have to be changed for at least 20 years.

Do LED lights last longer if you leave them on? ›

Conventional types of lighting produce heat. The energy given off by incandescent bulbs, for instance, is 90% heat and only 10% light.
...
Can LED Lights Be Left On 24/7 And Why You Shouldn't Do It!
Type of BulbAverage LifespanWhen should you turn it off?
LED35,000 – 50,000 hoursCan be left on 24/7
Incandescent750 – 2,000 hoursTurn off when not needed.
3 more rows
9 Apr 2020

Do LEDs last longer when dimmed? ›

While it is true that LEDs are already very efficient compared to almost any other light source, you save even more energy by dimming them. Dimming LEDs also makes them run cooler, extending the life of the electronic components in the driver, as well as the phosphor in the LEDs.

How do you stop LED lights from flickering? ›

Another thing that commonly causes flickering in LED bulbs is loose connections or circuits. This is easy to fix. Just screw the LED bulb in tighter to see of that fixes the problem. If there's a lot of dust in the fixture, first blow out the connection points to remove the dust before putting the bulb back in.

How do I stop my LED lights from dimming flickering? ›

If you want to avoid long-term problems with flickering and strobing and the whole spectrum of headaches that can come with trying to dim LED lighting, the most surefire thing you can do is to perform a mockup, or test install in your space. Make sure the lamp(s) you're considering work with your dimmer switches.

How do I stop my lights from flickering? ›

Tighten loose bulbs

If your light bulbs are flickering, turn off the power and, using a glove to protect your hand from heat, screw the bulb in more tightly. If a light bulb is in too loosely the socket isn't making proper contact with the bulb, and that can cause intermittent flickering.

Are LED drivers AC or DC? ›

LEDs are designed to run on low voltage (12-24V), direct-current electricity. However, most places supply higher voltage (120-277V), alternating current electricity. An LED driver rectifies higher voltage, alternating current to low-voltage, direct current.

Can LED drivers fail? ›

Even though these power supplies typically have a rated operating temperature of up to 70 degrees Celsius, exposure to direct sunlight will cause the temperature inside the LED driver to far exceed this. This in turn will cause the LED driver to fail. Such a failure is not covered by the warranty.

Why we use capacitor in LED? ›

Capacitors are generally used in LED drivers for smoothening and reducing the ripple coming from the power supply. Selecting the right capacitors for LED lighting systems helps in avoiding flickering, eliminates excessive heat, and ensures longevity of the LED lights.

Videos

1. Smple Powerful LED Bulb Driver Circuit for Life Time // How to Make LED Bulb Driver At Home, LED RC
(RJ EDIT ALL)
2. Making High Power LED Driver Boards - Part 1
(HamRadio2008)
3. High Power LED Driver Circuit
(Circuit Digest)
4. How to drive high power LEDs
(learnelectronics)
5. SDG #014 Designing a Constant Current DC-DC LED Driver - Part 1
(SDG Electronics)
6. How to Drive High Power LEDs With A DC-DC Adjustable Step-Down Module
(Core Electronics)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Edwin Metz

Last Updated: 10/30/2022

Views: 5912

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Edwin Metz

Birthday: 1997-04-16

Address: 51593 Leanne Light, Kuphalmouth, DE 50012-5183

Phone: +639107620957

Job: Corporate Banking Technician

Hobby: Reading, scrapbook, role-playing games, Fishing, Fishing, Scuba diving, Beekeeping

Introduction: My name is Edwin Metz, I am a fair, energetic, helpful, brave, outstanding, nice, helpful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.