Old and inefficient Incandescent lamps were replaced by Newer CFLs. Then CFLs gave way to LED lamps.
Today we see LED panel lights in every nook & cranny of our ceilings. Be it commercial or residential. These LED panels are usually long lived. However, They do fail at times.
I am surprised there is no instructable to repair a LED panel light at home. So here we go.
1. Busted LED panel light
3. Soldering Iron set
4. Tool kit- Including Pliers, Screw drivers, Wire strippers
5. Insulating tape
6. Half an hour of time.
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Step 1: Find the Failure
An LED panel is made in 2 components.
1. Driver circuitry
2. LED chip board (MCPCB)
To check the LED Driver, simply connect your Multimeter on 200v DC settting and measure output of the driver. A healthy driver often outputs anywhere from 12 to 60V . This depends on how big your panel is. I got satisfactory Output, so it was time to move to the LED chip board.
Step 2: Figure Out Dead Chips
Now the way these LED chips are laid out are usually very simple. All the LEDs have forward voltage of about 3.2V and are connected in Series. Chip boad failures means its just one or two LEDs have failed, causing entire board to not glow. To test the Failed chip, You simply plug in your LED panel and short each individual LED chip. Shorting a Failed LED chip will cause board to start glowing sans the faulty chip.
Other Safer method is to use a small 3v Power source (Like 2x AA batteries) and hook up Thin probles to the output. You can then test each LED using the 3v power.
Highlight any Dead LED chips. I have used a red Marker for the same.
Step 3: Short the Faulty Chips
Here you can try to replace the Faulty chips. But that needs very precise soldering skills along with a reflow station. You can also simply short the said chips and it will fix your rest of panel.
I used needle nose pliers to rip apart the faulty chip, then I simply bridged the tracks with a blob of solder. Check the pics for more understanding. You can now verify the Functioning of LED panel once again after plugging it in. If all faulty chips have been shorted out, rest of the panel should glow right up. Usually shorting 2~3 chips over the entire count of LED chips will have no detrimental effect. Because the LED panel is wired in series, it will keep the current same across all chips. Your Panel wattage will decrease slightly.
Step 4: Test, Install and Enjoy.
Refit the panel in reverse order of Installation.
Enjoy your newly repaired LED panel light!