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LEDs in Parallel: 8 Things You Should Know

Is this your first time working with Leds? Are you lacking adequate knowledge of handling them? No need to worry. We got you covered! This Leds in parallel guide dives deeper into how to wire Leds appropriately. With years of manufacturing Led PCBs, we have put together all the essential information to enable you to comprehend how electrical circuits relate to Leds. We shall learn how to drive Leds in parallel, wire them in series, and calculate the resistor for Leds in parallel, among other things. 

1. Driving Led in Parallel: Can You Wire LEDs in Parallel?

Parallel circuit with 3 LEDs connected to Battery

Parallel circuit with 3 LEDs connected to Battery

You can apply parallel wiring when you have regular voltage drivers. This wiring method is becoming common because voltage drivers are cost-effective nowadays. Besides, engineers prefer using low voltages to high-voltage circuits. However, wiring your Leds in parallel prevents them from thermal runaway. 

In parallel wiring, the forward voltages of your Leds do not add up like in series wiring. This means if your driver generates 36V, each Led will experience 36V across it in parallel wiring. Nevertheless, parallel wiring splits the power among the Leds. The good thing with parallel wiring is that the gadgets produce equal brightness. 

2. Wiring LEDs in Series

Series circuit with 3 LEDs connected to Battery

Series circuit with 3 LEDs connected to Battery

You can use series wiring when working with steady current drivers. Series wiring adds up the forward voltages of your Leds. However, the current flowing to every component is constant. For instance, when you have three 36V devices, you get a voltage drop of 108V. If your current driver generates 1400mA of current, the three bulbs will get all of it.    

In a series connection, you link your first device in the chain to the last. In other words, you connect the positive and negative terminals of your gadgets. For example, if you begin by linking your driver’s electrode to the first device, you should join the first component’s anode to the electrode of the second component. While it appears counter-intuitive to connect an anode to an electrode, that is how a series connection works.

3.  Leds in Series Vs. LEDs in Parallel: The Advantages of a Parallel Connection

Independent components

When you switch on one component in a parallel connection, you do not automatically turn on other gadgets. In other words, a parallel connection enables various gadgets to have their individual switches. This implies you can switch one device on and off without affecting others. Contrary to this, a series circuit contains a single current pathway. If one gadget fails, the others will also fail to work.

Consistent voltage

Parallel wiring ensures each device receives equal voltage. Consequently, this generates the same brightness. 

It gives room for extra components

Parallel wiring allows you to add more gadgets without altering the voltage. For instance, if you require extra lighting, you can install another bulb to the circuit. Contrary to this, introducing additional gadgets to a series connection increases resistance. Moreover, the current flowing through your circuit reduces. 

Simple, safe, and reliable

Parallel wiring is simple and easier to create. If you follow the industry installation standards, you will get a reliable and safe electrical connection. 

4. Multiple Leds in parallel with one resistor

You can connect multiple Leds in parallel with a single resistor. However, the equation becomes slightly complicated as you must consider the entire diode’s forward current. Additionally, you should ensure your diodes’ forward voltage requirement is matching. 

5. Is it Okay to Connect Several Leds to a Constant Current Driver in Parallel?

You should avoid linking several devices to a continuous current driver in parallel. Manufacturers design power drivers to power components lacking current control. Therefore, you minimize your gadgets’ life span when you link several of them to a current driver in parallel. How does this happen?

First, every device comes with its specific manufacturing tolerance. This implies that although you use gadgets sharing a similar part number, you can still experience some voltage differences at which the components ignite. 

If it is a must for you to link several devices to a regular current driver, you should apply a series wiring to connect them. If one fails, it disconnects power from flowing power to the rest. As a result, this prevents them from being overdriven.

6. Led Parallel Calculator 

The Led parallel calculator applies two equations. These equations are essential for designing gadgets:

Ohm’s Law 

V = I * R

Power Equation

P = I * V

Using these equations will help you find your resistor’s power rating requirements. Your inputs should be the voltage across the resistor and the power passing through your resistor. 

7. Essential Points to Remember when Wiring Leds in Parallel 

First, as you incorporate components into your parallel circuit, your voltage requirements remain constant. 

Secondly, as you integrate gadgets to your parallel wiring, your power requirements raise the amount every device needs. 

Thirdly, if you apply one resistor for the entire circuit, all Leds should be the same.

8. FAQs

Q1. Are Leds brighter in series or parallel?

Leds are brighter in parallel than in series. 

Q2. Can a circuit be both parallel and series? 

Yes, and this is what we call a combination circuit. For instance, you can make a combination circuit comprising four Leds. You can then connect the first two devices in parallel wiring and the remaining in series wiring. 

Q3. How many Leds can you chain with a 12v resistor in series?

You can chain three components in a series connection with a restrictive resistor. 

Q4. What happens when you put a lot of voltage through Led?

Generally, you will blow it if it lacks a resistor. 

Q5. How do you connect Led strips with connectors?

Gently attach the strip to the connector. Ensure it extends beyond the ridges on both sides. 

Conclusion

There are two primary methods of connecting Leds: parallel and series. You will mostly apply series wiring when working with a constant power driver. But if you are working with a constant voltage driver, you will apply parallel wiring. Besides, you can use both methods to get a specific voltage. You can apply this Leds in parallel content in any Led- COBs, strips, and others.

Hommer
Hi, I am Hommer, the founder of WellPCB. So far we have more than 4,000 customers worldwide. Any questions you can feel free to contact me. Thanks in advance.

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