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  • Excellent DIY LED driver

    posted by eboyer on 10/29/2011

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:more than 1 month


    - Great price (especially the bulk rate)

    - High quality current output: I've used over a dozen of these drivers and they all provide a very constant current, and thus flicker-less LED lighting

    - Can be dimmed. The integrated circuit for this LED driver is the PT4115 LED controller, which contains a "DIM" input. Applying a pulse-width modified digital signal, or a variable DC voltage to this DIM input provides continuously-variable dimming of the LED. For more information on how to do this, see the PT4115 datasheet (it is very easy to read, so even a beginner DIYer should be able to do it).

    - Open-circuit protection: this driver will not be destroyed if it is not connected to a load when powered (this can happen to some LED drivers)

    - Thermal protection: the circuit will protect itself if it gets too hot

    - Highly efficient: the PT4115 is up to 97% efficient, so very little power is wasted

    - With a few modifications, it can output up to 1.2A at up to 30V, for a total power output of over 30W (this can be done by simply changing the resistor and inductor on the circuit. See the PT4115 datasheet for info on how to do this). This means that this driver can power LEDs up to 30W, although the inductor required for such high outputs would be a bit big for the circuit board.

    - Can be powered by either AC or DC voltage (but note that its maximum input voltage is NOT 40V, as stated in the product title. See my con section below for more info).


    - The maximum input voltage is NOT 40V, as is stated in the product title. The PT4115 IC can only handle a maximum of 30V, and the onboard capacitor is only rated for 25V, so the actual maximum voltage that you can apply to this LED driver is 25V DC (or 30V DC if you upgrade the capacitor to one with a maximum rated voltage above 30V). If you are powering it by an AC source then it will be even lower: the maximum AC input voltage is 18V, according to the PT4115 datasheet. This is because once an AC voltage is rectified and smoothed, its DC voltage will be higher than the AC voltage.


    - If you're using a DC power source and you want to maximize the efficiency of this LED driver then I recommend removing the rectifying diodes because these waste a bit of power due to their forward voltage drop.

    - Note that the large, unbendable metal prongs (which are the input voltage connections) can be easily removed and replaced with something that is easier to deal with (and to bend), such as wire.


    Excellent price and highly modifiable. Highly recommended for all 1W LEDs. Also has the excellent benefit of being dimmable with slight modifications.

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