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Choosing the right LED Dimmable Driver...

Hi all,

I am hoping someone can clear this up for me.

I am building a DIY LED aquarium light and have chosen the following components:
- 16 x 3W LED, Cool White
- 4 x 3W LED, Royal Blue
- 2 x 3W LED, Red

I want to run all the LEDs off one dimmable LED driver and I have found this one which I think will work:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Shipping-Top-selling-12V-0-10V-dimming-LED-driver-PWM-led-dimmer-constant-voltage-3/1410890719.html

I also wish to make each colour dimmable by using a potentiometer for each of the 1-10V lines.
Therefore, 16 white LEDs will be in series on one channel, 4 blue on the second channel and 2 red on the third channel.

What I would like to know is the following:

1) Will I be able to safely run all the LEDs on each channel as described above?

2) What value potentiometer should I use for each of the 1-10V control lines?

3) Do the 1-10v control lines require a seperate power supply or are they regulated internally from the 12-24V DC IN?

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated!


Picture of Choosing the right LED Dimmable Driver...
Vyger2 years ago

I would use the new waterproof RGB strips with the remote that comes with it.

Something like this

http://www.ebay.com/itm/291333369800?_trksid=p2055...

Or a set like these

http://www.ebay.com/itm/20pcs-3-LED-RGB-5050-SMD-M...

And a controller like this

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-12V-44-Key-IR-Remote-Co...

It will be cheaper than what you are thinking of and the light will be more spread out and diffuse. And they are waterproof.

1. I can't find any voltages, neither for the output of the dimmer nor for the LED's you use.

Judging by the type and power I would say you use Cree LED's, however the dimmer does not specify if it can drive Cree directly.

You would also need quite a good heat sink, maybe even fan forced if all LED's are in one spot.

2. You need an input voltage, using a potentiometer directly will most likely end in failure.

Best option is to use an adjustable voltage regulator and the potentiometer to set the output voltage of the regulator.

3. Can't answer that one as it is not mentioned in the product discription.

I would assume it needs the voltages applied as shown in the pic, so common ground and seperate voltages for each channel.

I would first check if the dimmer is suitable for Cree LED use.

If in doubt measure the output voltage at max.

If it differs from the specifications for the LED you need a driver board for each LED.

With 16 LED's of assumed 3.2V each in series you would need around 50V to drive them at full brightness - I highly doubt your dimmer is designed for that type of use.

Most LED drivers of this kind that I used are for 12 LED strips, that means at full power the output should be 12V.

If that is the case for your model you will need a 12 driver board for each LED and connect them in parallel.

Or find suitable driver boards of lower voltage to connect them in series but it will be hard to match the 12V max.

In any case you need proper specs for each color LED and the dimmer.