What could possibly make my LED explode?

I am not very good with electronics but i do mess with them. I was testing a little momentary push button I got with a LED using my electronics test lab thing from radioshack . i hooked it up to 6v and pressed the button and something popped so being stupid i pressed it again and immediately the LED exploded small sparks flew from it and a piece of the plastic broke off and flew at my face. Why did it do this the only thing i can imagine causing this was that i didn't put a resistor in but I've hooked LEDs up to straight voltage before only momentarily to test them and nothing bad happened. from my experience 6v even 9v has never blown an LED up why this one? Please tell me if u have an idea why I'm about to start wearing safety goggles when working with LEDs cause I'm pretty scared.

sort by: active | newest | oldest
jules157 years ago
"I've hooked LEDs up to straight voltage before only momentarily to test them and nothing bad happened. from my experience 6v even 9v has never blown an LED up why this one" This is because a LED can accept large pulses of up to ten amps, BUT only for a very short time. "Ic" represents the continuous current that the LED can stand, continuously, which is different from the maximum current. Usually, suppliers of LEDs will have seperate values on datasheets- (1) maximum and (2)continuous.
mhkabir8 years ago
just charge up an 15000microfarad capacitor, attach a switch between the led and the capacitor and turn the switch on . BOOOOOM!.
TNEN8 years ago
say you have a LED that runs on 3 volts, if you give it 3.5 volts it will be fine but if you give it 5 volt you will blow it up.
hg341 TNEN8 years ago
i use 9v on my leds all the time....
smmiller5068 years ago
LEDs are different between each lot made, and each individual diode in a lot. So, having an LED explode could be that one in a million chance. Or the LED just got too much current at once. I would suggest using a resistor in the future. They aren't expensive and you won't have to risk anything.
I know this is a dumb question but what if you put the LED straight into a wall socket. would it just burn it out or would it blow up in my face?
First off, I know curiosity can be ridiculously, stupidly strong, but please ignore it, I don't mean to offend you, but you don't seem like you have a lot of knowledge in this area, and I really don't want to hear that you got hurt doing an experiment with house voltages. As for your question: to be honest, I don't know. I'm guessing that it would be more towards the "burn up in the face" kind of thing. You are putting 115 or 120 volts of high current AC power into a (most likely) 3.3 volt ultra low current DC device. I do know for a fact that, at the correct power levels, it would survive AC. If the diode fails and becomes an open, the voltage could theoretically start an arc fault, which would cause an explosion. More likely though, is if the diode fails and becomes a short, then you have power going straight to ground with no load, and it will start burning, possibly starting a fire.
Im not dumb and never said i was gonna try it.
lakerman238 years ago
You could cover it in a million gallons of gasoline with TNT in it then throw in a match but that is pretty much it.
vince 098 years ago
you probably put too muck power to it and fried it lol
master key8 years ago
Not using a resistor and overpowering the LED