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Author Topic: Calculating resistor size for Led`s  (Read 346 times)
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Hi everyone,

i am very very green when it comes to electrionics but i`m learning!
I have a very basic question,
when calculating the reistor size for led`s do you use the typical forward voltage value or the max one and
do you use the typical forward current value or the max one?

thank you in advance,

D
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I use the min voltage, as that will cause the highest current draw:

(Vs - Vmin)/Resistor = current

ex.
(5V - 3V)/100 = 20mA
(5V-3.4V)/100 = 16mA

Plan for no more than 20mA (generally) continuous current.  Using the MAX for continuous will really shorten the LED life.
Many LEDs can be pulsed with higher currents, but only for very short times.  The data sheet will have details of the on time and the frequency.
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I'd just go with the typical Vf, but I'd stay far away from the max current.
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Thanks for the responses guys
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when calculating the reistor size for led`s do you use the typical forward voltage value or the max one and
do you use the typical forward current value or the max one?

The minimum one. And round the resistor upwards.

If you want more you need to use a current controller circuit, a resistor isn't good enough.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 01:49:38 pm by fungus » Logged

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just know the forward voltage drop and subtract it from the voltage you are supplging and given the max amount of current for your leds use ohms's law
V=IR.
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