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What do I need to power the LEDs?

How do I power the LEDs?

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    Milad Sakiani

    Before you choose the method of power your LEDs, you need to find out how much voltage you need per channel.

    There is a very simple formula to figure this out.  Decide on your LEDs, find out the voltage at the current you want to run them at (usually around 3.1v) then multiple that by how many LEDs you want per string.

    So if we had 10 XT-E CREE Royal Blues and we run them at 1000mA, that gives us about 3.1v per LED.  3.1v x 10 (number of LEDs in the string) gets us 31v.  We then need to find a driver that can do 31v at least.   Drivers will have a range like 12v-48v.  You just want to make sure your string voltage falls in that range.

     

    There 2 basic ways to power any LED.  AC-DC or DC-DC

     

    AC-DC Method:

    This is the most straight forward method to power any LED.  The AC-DC power supply you purchase (Inventronics drivers usually) plugs straight into the wall (AC) and your LEDs go in series on the DC side.  You then can attach a potentiometer to the dimming circuit to turn up / down the LEDs to get the intensity you are looking for.

    Basic wiring diagram:

    wiring.jpg

     

    DC-DC Method

    In the DC-DC Method you are splitting up the AC side and the DC side.  In most cases you will end up purchasing the Meanwell drivers for this method.  The Meanwell drivers will cover the DC side but you still need to power the meanwell drivers.  Thats where the DC power supplies come in.  The DC power supplies plug directly into your AC wall outlet and power the Meanwell drivers.

    Basic wiring diagram:

    wiring2.jpg

     

    DC-DC Method using MakersDRIVER and Controller

    Using the MakersDRIVER and MakersCONTROLLER is the elite way of power your LEDs.  You get a very clean design with excellent control.  You can easily dim the LEDs with the potentiometer that are built in and you get additional "smarts" like fan power failure notification.  It also powers your fan without the need of additional power supply.

    Basic wiring diagram:

    Makersdriver.png

    Differences

    In the AC-DC method using the Inventronics drivers, you can only dim the LEDs down to 10% (not 0%).  Whereas in the DC-DC method using the Meanwell drivers, you can take them all the way down to 0%.  The issue with the DC-DC method is you need a PWM controller (you can't just connect a potentiometer to do the dimming).  If you want the easy dimming + being able to dim down to 0%, the best bet is to use the MakersDRIVERS which give you 0-100% dimming + fan power + fan failure notification + potentiometer knobs to easily and quickly turn up and down the channels your LEDs.  Plug in a MakersCONTROLLER to the setup and get a nice sunrise/sunet automated control and also additional features like cloud cover.

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