LEDs are taking over conventional lighting every day. High-power LEDs over 1W are becoming more and more affordable, and I wanted to start using them to replace the lighting fixtures around me. However I realize that finding and configuring the power supply was a bit of a pain, since I wanted to use different LEDs in different configurations depending on what the lighting was for. Power supply needs to regulate the current that goes though the LEDs. With higher current that high-power LEDs require, active constant current circuit is the only practical option. Commercially available buck regulators are easy to use, however, they are usually made for a specific current and voltage range. For me that means having to purchase variety of buck drivers.
Also, most of LED drivers lack dimming function, or have poorly functioning dimmers. I think dimming is essential for modern lighting, and I want smooth control of brightness.
So I decided to develop a universal, dimmerable high-power LED controller. It has taken me four months to develop this controller. Although it's still in development, I think it's quite useful to all DYI'ers with LED lighting projects.
I made this an Open Source project. Both hardware and software are open - please use, and extend this project and share the knowledge. A 3D printable enclosure as well as couple of LED mounting hardware is also available as Open Source, download-able at Thingverse. Together you can really kick start LED conversion of your household lighting!
Step 1: Features
- Inductor "switch mode" controller for high energy efficiency.
- Wide supply voltage range of 5 to 18V (can go higher, but not tested). Great with batteries as well as AC adapters.
- Up to 20W maximum output power (can go higher with active cooling). (at supply voltage 12V or above)
- Constant current (pulsed) - configurable up to 3A peak current.
- Selectable between buck-boost and boost mode.
- Analog style dimmer control (smooth, flicker-free continuous adjustment)
- IR remote receiver - controllable via Sony IR remote control
- Digitally controlled dimming - via external microcontroller including Arduino.
- Master/slave gang dimming - connect multiple units together and control the dimming from any one of the units.
- High frequency pulse drive - 32kHz to 175kHz - no flicker even in video!