### Author Topic: RGB led max current  (Read 10684 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

#### Zedy

• Contributor
• Posts: 26
##### RGB led max current
« on: October 22, 2010, 09:38:10 am »
hello,
Just wondering, if in datasheet for RGB led max current for each colour is 20 mA, does it mean I could pump 20 mA current simultaneously into all 3 colour pins, which would give 60 mA in total.

#### Zero999

• Super Contributor
• Posts: 14071
• Country:
• 0999
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 12:24:34 pm »
That should be the case but read the whole datasheet to make sure there's no limit such as the power dissipation for the entire package.

#### Mechatrommer

• Super Contributor
• Posts: 9646
• Country:
• reassessing directives...
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 06:12:17 pm »
hello,
Just wondering, if in datasheet for RGB led max current for each colour is 20 mA, does it mean I could pump 20 mA current simultaneously into all 3 colour pins, which would give 60 mA in total.
if you are not sure what the datasheet say, u can always check with DMM.
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)

#### Zedy

• Contributor
• Posts: 26
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2010, 01:02:58 pm »
hello,
Just wondering, if in datasheet for RGB led max current for each colour is 20 mA, does it mean I could pump 20 mA current simultaneously into all 3 colour pins, which would give 60 mA in total.
if you are not sure what the datasheet say, u can always check with DMM.
How can I check it?

#### Zero999

• Super Contributor
• Posts: 14071
• Country:
• 0999
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2010, 03:38:40 pm »
Yes, how do you check the maximum current rating with a DVM? I'd like to know this.

#### djsb

• Frequent Contributor
• Posts: 589
• Country:
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2010, 03:40:22 pm »
The current for 1 LED may be 20mA but for all three at once the current may need to be reduced for each one. This is because of the junction temperature of each device influencing each other. I would play it safe and limit the current initially to 15mA per LED and if that works OK build up gradually from there 1mA at a time. You could use a pot in series with a fixed current limit resistor (20mA limit). It's best to take the 20mA as an absolute LIMIT and put LESS THAN 20mA through it.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 04:13:24 pm by djsb »
David
Hertfordshire,UK
University Electronics Technician, London PIC,CCS C,Arduino,Kicad, Altium Designer,LPKF S103,S62 Operator, Electronics instructor.  http://debuggingrules.com/ Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

#### Mechatrommer

• Super Contributor
• Posts: 9646
• Country:
• reassessing directives...
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2010, 06:30:06 pm »
How can I check it?
connect the power supply in series with DMM in A mode to the RGB LED power line.
edited: dont forget the resistor!
« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 02:07:17 am by shafri »
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)

#### alm

• Guest
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2010, 06:33:21 pm »
How can I check it?
connect the power supply in series with DMM in A mode to the RGB LED power line.
Indeed, just keep increasing the current until the LED starts to release magic smoke. The maximum current is somewhere below the current indicated by the DMM just before the LED died. Use three current sources and DMM's for an RGB LED.

#### allanw

• Frequent Contributor
• Posts: 343
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2010, 07:48:04 pm »
The LED lifetime is increased by running them at lower current and lower temperature. Maximum current it can handle before releasing magic smoke is probably way too high for normal operation, because the lifetime will be significantly reduced if you run it near that current.

Are you using 5mm RGB LED's? I've had no problems running them at 20mA each color for long periods of time. Keep in mind that the human eye will barely see a difference between 15mA and 20mA though, so it might just be safer to run them at 15mA if you intend to run them all at max brightness all the time.

#### Zero999

• Super Contributor
• Posts: 14071
• Country:
• 0999
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2010, 09:56:08 pm »
I think shafri may have forgot that the LED needs a series resistor. I've never tested a component to destruction in an attempt to get the maximum current rating. If you're going to do that, then I'd recommend testing some components with known maximum ratings beforehand. In this case that shouldn't be necessary as it's listed on the datasheet.

Generally running components near or at their absolute maximum ratings is a bad idea. In this case if the absolute maximum rating is 20mA, design for 15mA.

#### alm

• Guest
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2010, 10:22:37 pm »
I've never tested a component to destruction in an attempt to get the maximum current rating. If you're going to do that, then I'd recommend testing some components with known maximum ratings beforehand. In this case that shouldn't be necessary as it's listed on the datasheet.
My reaction was tongue-in-the-cheek, since actually impossible to measure absolute maximum ratings (although my statement about somewhere below the current that killed it is true, you just don't know how much below). Absolute maximum ratings are a guarantee by the manufacturer. It doesn't mean that it will die above that, but it means it will survive below that. Not just today's sample, but next year's sample also. No way to know the manufacturer's limits from just measurements.

Generally running components near or at their absolute maximum ratings is a bad idea. In this case if the absolute maximum rating is 20mA, design for 15mA.
Agreed, especially since LED's lifetime usually depends on junction temperature (which for low-power LED's is determined by current). Not sure if 20mA gets the junction close to max sustained temperature or if low-power LED's have other failure modes, though.

#### Mechatrommer

• Super Contributor
• Posts: 9646
• Country:
• reassessing directives...
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2010, 02:05:50 am »
Indeed, just keep increasing the current until the LED starts to release magic smoke. The maximum current is somewhere below the current indicated by the DMM just before the LED died. Use three current sources and DMM's for an RGB LED.
yup guys. i forgot the resistor! think i'm going to do the same mistake twice! thats how i burnt a LED (no resistor). i got no magic smoke, just a magic dimming effect and dead forever. to find out max rating, u can use 100K potentiometer maybe and turn down bit by bit until the magic smoke . what i understood and try to explain is, the OP try to figure out whether the 20mA is for single color LED or all the RGB alltogether. so he can check each power line, or all of them at once so, if the supply from battery is 20mA and the LED is not bright enough, then try feed it with 60mA!

« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 02:16:37 am by shafri »
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)

#### Mechatrommer

• Super Contributor
• Posts: 9646
• Country:
• reassessing directives...
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2010, 02:20:17 am »
this is some link while googling RGB LED http://www.best-microcontroller-projects.com/rgb-led.html, just for the record i think the last pic driver is overkill for single RGB LED. and no resistors there
and this one is some "wacko" nerd doing his thing!
« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 02:25:47 am by shafri »
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)

#### Zedy

• Contributor
• Posts: 26
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2010, 03:22:57 pm »
Are you using 5mm RGB LED's?
Yes, I am using 5 mm RGB LEd's

Accually I need the most brightest light I could get. So, I think I will just test this LED's running on 60 mA (20 mA on each pin),  what the normal temperature rise should be? any ideas?

And I am ordering this LEd's from china, so I don't have any datasheet I now only maximum current through each colour - 20mA
« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 03:46:42 pm by Zedy »

#### Mechatrommer

• Super Contributor
• Posts: 9646
• Country:
• reassessing directives...
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2010, 03:30:45 pm »
And I am ordering this LEd's from china, so I don't have any datasheet I now only maximum current through each colour - 20mA
try to test on lower current first, then move to higher until you satisfy, just to be safe. an order from China is.... expensive!
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)

#### eecfans

• Newbie
• Posts: 3
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2010, 11:41:48 am »
hello,
Just wondering, if in datasheet for RGB led max current for each colour is 20 mA, does it mean I could pump 20 mA current simultaneously into all 3 colour pins, which would give 60 mA in total.

I guess they are tri-chip R/G/B led strip that has 4 wires on the PCB board: Red,Green,Blue and "+" Pole. I don't think you need worry about the current, although each color is rated at 20mA, because led strips should be working at constant voltage 12v DC. They will work find as long as you input constant voltage 12v DC, with enough power. Better to confirm again with your seller.

#### eecfans

• Newbie
• Posts: 3
##### Re: RGB led max current
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2010, 11:46:41 am »
I think they are 5mm tri-chip rgb leds that set each color @ 20mA, so you need 60mA. But it is not absoluteley, usually there is a current tolerance range. You'd better confirm again with the seller. Tks.

Smf