Hey all, just put the finishing brushstrokes on the guide How to Drive High Power LEDs
This guide will provide all the knowledge to power whatever High Powered LED you come across but will focus on 3W Aluminum Backed Star LEDs. From selecting the right gauge of wire to managing heat dissipation and the power requirements.
High Power Light Emitting Diodes have different requirements that need to be met when compared to regular LEDs. Furthermore, LEDs are unlike other traditional incandescent lights where higher voltages produce brighter light. The amount of light (Lumens) an LED emits depends on how much current is supplied.
If you connected a standard DC voltage regulated power supply to a line of LEDs it would provide too much current to the LEDs and cause them to break. This is why we need a Constant Current LED Driver between the DC power supply and the LEDs. The technology of buck, boost, and buck-boost (Step Down or Step Up) converters are utilized around the world to provide regulated low-voltage DC/DC power in nearly every electronics market. Importantly these devices manage and prevent excess current flow. If the voltage and current from the chosen power supply are too high for the LEDs you will need a buck (step-down) converter. If voltage and current from the power supply are too low for the LEDs you will need a boost (step-up) converter.