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Topic: Using Resistors with LEDs (Read 8014 times) previous topic - next topic

charliesixpack

Would you cair to defend that remark? Last time I looked the laws of physics were the same if you are doing a hobby or not.
I am not putting my hobby project in a situation where it might be used to do surgery on someone.  My hobbies are to please only me.

legonick22

#16
Mar 13, 2015, 04:22 pm Last Edit: Mar 13, 2015, 04:43 pm by legonick22
Boy, that escalated quickly... I only wanted an answer to something that seemed counter intuitive.

I constructed a test sketch that turns 3 LEDs on in off in every possible combination, using a separate 200 ohm resistor for each cathode (I have lots of those!)  LED brightness never changed.

I then tried using a single 1k Ohm resistor and 2 200 ohm resistors in series tied commonly to each cathode. Each turned on fine, but I could not turn on all 3 at the same time. Too much current, I guess.

I'm going to spring for some 1k resistors (I know, my maker shopping list is quite long right now...), but I find it strange that it worked with the ArduinoISP sketch, but not this test sketch.

A note to Grumpy_Mike: I'd greatly appreciate it if you wouldn't try to "haze" me. I am not trying to "mislead beginners" and I don't deserve for anybody to "come down on me like a pile of bricks". Simple questions deserve simple answers, and I don't merit insult, even if perhaps my question is ridiculous.
My mother said I could be anything I wanted. But I don't want to be anything I wanted. I want to be an engineer!

charliesixpack

If you are using 200 ohms in series with one LED you must use 200/3 ohms in series with three LEDs if you are connecting the LEDs in parallel and expect to keep the light intensity the same.  You must use the equivalent of three 200 ohm resistors in parallel since you are using three LEDs in parallel.  If I understand you correctly you are attempting to use a higher value resistor when you connect the LEDs in parallel.  This is the opposite of what is required.

polymorph

If you put different colors in parallel, only the lowest voltage LED will turn on. And hog all the current.
Steve Greenfield AE7HD
Drawing Schematics: tinyurl.com/23mo9pf - tinyurl.com/o97ysyx - https://tinyurl.com/Technote8
Multitasking: forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=223286.0
gammon.com.au/blink - gammon.com.au/serial - gammon.com.au/interrupts

Grumpy_Mike

If you put different colors in parallel, only the lowest voltage LED will turn on. And hog all the current.
As I said in reply #5

polymorph

It seemed to bear repeating.
Steve Greenfield AE7HD
Drawing Schematics: tinyurl.com/23mo9pf - tinyurl.com/o97ysyx - https://tinyurl.com/Technote8
Multitasking: forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=223286.0
gammon.com.au/blink - gammon.com.au/serial - gammon.com.au/interrupts

Grumpy_Mike


nickgammon

LED brightness never changed.
Our eyes do not perceive brightness linearly.

See http://www.telescope-optics.net/eye_intensity_response.htm

From that:

Quote
In its basic form (Weber law), this implies that eye response to object luminance, as brightness discrimination, is not proportional to its actual (physical) intensity level; rather, that it changes with the intensity level, remaining nearly constant relative to it. This, in turn, under assumption that the relative value of just noticeable difference in brightness sensation is a unit of the sensation change, means that the perceived object brightness changes with the logarithm of object's actual brightness.
So for one thing, your perception changes as the log of the actual brightness, and secondly, depending on how you conducted the experiment, they may have "seemed" same if there was a pause between different tests.

Just as an experiment, I hooked up a LED connected to a 5V supply via a resistor substitution gadget. I could barely tell the difference in brightness between 100 ohm and 1k although the current must have varied by 10 times.

Certainly, small changes were imperceptible, even 820 ohms to 220 ohms.

So the "it seems to work" doesn't really hold up here. Now if the LEDs are all the same, you might get away with sharing a 1k resistor, but honestly, it is best to do it properly.

A while ago I made a clock ( here ) where I lazily shared a current limiting resistor for all of the segments of a 7-segment display. That should work, huh? The trouble was, the more segments that were on, the dimmer it got. So for example, an 8 (all segments) was noticeably dimmer than a 1 (two segments).

So even for a hobby gadget, the results are just annoyingly noticeable when you finish the project, if you cut corners.
Please post technical questions on the forum, not by personal message. Thanks!

More info: http://www.gammon.com.au/electronics

nickgammon

You can even see this effect in this photo of it:

Please post technical questions on the forum, not by personal message. Thanks!

More info: http://www.gammon.com.au/electronics

Grumpy_Mike

My hobbies are to please only me.
Is this one of yours then?

pwillard

Quote
People should stop blindly copying old circuits and look around at what's available today.
This comment sort of bugged me as I would beg to differ.  5 minutes of hunting on Instructables will show you many more of today's fools giving bad advice as compared to people who learned how to be good techs when a "super sale" on LED's meant you got 5 for $1.00.    As Grumpy_Mike said, this is about physics and that doesn't really change.  Good electronics technician bench top practices have not drastically changed either.

 Sure, *some* LED's are brighter, like the ones who's datasheet says "1000MCD @ 10mA with 2.1V forward voltage" but that is... wait for it... "datasheet and device specific".  Many LED's operate at what I would call normal brightness versus the trendy "blind a gnat at 200 feet" brightness but it comes down to 1) buying the right part and  2) "Oh My Gosh" reading whatever data is available about the LED.  It might even have a datasheet if you selected and bought it from a reputable vendor.

So here is my point...

Different color LEDS are made varying the semiconductor content in the die.  This different "content" can mean that LED's require different voltages and current to operate most efficiently (as Grumpy_mike mentioned).  It is these parameters that guide the designer/hacker/parts-abuser in determining the correct current limiting resistor for a specific device and using just any just any old resistor part lying around (or none at all)  will only get you so far. 

aarg

#26
Mar 14, 2015, 11:03 pm Last Edit: Mar 14, 2015, 11:14 pm by aarg
This comment sort of bugged me as I would beg to differ.
PWillard, I'm puzzled because I see little difference in what you're saying, from what I said. Or at least, they may address different subjects.

But... a data sheet can't tell you the correct value of a limiting resistor. It can only tell you the maximum allowable and typical current values. My point was that the minimum is a user choice.

By "look around", I didn't mean on forums. :)
  ... with a transistor and a large sum of money to spend ...
Please don't PM me with technical questions. Post them in the forum.

raschemmel

#27
Mar 15, 2015, 08:39 am Last Edit: Mar 15, 2015, 08:45 am by raschemmel
There's not much to be said for the OP's laziness. He would have a hard time defending his approach on the grounds he can't afford the additional resistors. To even make a statement on the forum like:
Quote
since I only have a few 1k resistors.
really leaves one shaking their head. What's the problem, you can't afford more or you don't know how to find them ?

Nevermind that 1 k is the wrong value. We can address that when he learns to wire his circuit correctly.
Arduino UNOs, Pro-Minis, ATMega328, ATtiny85, LCDs, MCP4162, keypads,<br />DS18B20s,74c922,nRF24L01, RS232, SD card, RC fixed wing, quadcopter

Paul__B

Nevermind that 1 k is the wrong value. We can address that when he learns to wire his circuit correctly.
Is it wrong?

At least you can't do much damage with 1k.

raschemmel

#29
Mar 15, 2015, 09:03 am Last Edit: Mar 15, 2015, 09:05 am by raschemmel
Quote
Is it wrong?  
Let me check:

Let Vcc = 5V
Let LED Vf=2.3V @ 20 mA
5V - 2.3V = 2.7V
RCL = 2.7 V/0.020 V = 135 ohms


1 k != 135 ohms

Note: The OP's using RGB leds so his results (forward voltages, all different for R, G & B) may vary.

Yes, it's wrong.
Arduino UNOs, Pro-Minis, ATMega328, ATtiny85, LCDs, MCP4162, keypads,<br />DS18B20s,74c922,nRF24L01, RS232, SD card, RC fixed wing, quadcopter

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