Driving a 1W star with a L317

Hey guys,

I've been using Arduino for a bit now and LOVE screwing around with flashing lights :astonished:

i need to run a 1W star on a dimmer, and was thinking of using the L317 adjustable voltage regulator and a (X)ohm pot.

I will generaly use PWM and a TIP122 to drive each channel of a 3W star LED ( using 10K pull down resistor at the gate, 100ohm current limit for the MCU, and a 2W-10ohm current limit for the led {5v > 3v@350 ma(ish) right?} )

BUT i want somthing CHEEP & EASY for a single LED

I would like to regulate AND adjust both voltage and current with the L317 but i can't find the right fomula ( or maby make sence of it lol)


will i have to regulate it @ 5V, use a curent limiting resistor, and adjust the voltage with a pot?

Any reasonably simple solutions i overlooked would allso be apreciated. :D

Does it have to be a L317? How about something like a TLC5916?

If you must use an LM317, then I would say run it just in constant current mode, and adjust the current. As long as you limit the maximum current to the maximum of the LED (using a static resistance), you should be fine. The voltage is irrelevant as it will always be the set by the LED.

Take a look at this schematic by BillO


(reply #7)

You can use this LM317 calculator to calculate the resistor


Take a look at this schematic by BillO

Something like that generates a fixed output current.

If you put a pot over the resistor and put the adj pin on the wiper, you get to vary the output current.