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Thread: Led wiring help or advice please.

  1. #1

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    Led wiring help or advice please.

    Hi. I recently ordered all the gear i needed to make two light screens for my scrubber. Got all the stuff from aquastyleonline, and now i'm in a bit of a pickle and need some help.
    Have two heat sinks, with two dimmable drivers and the LEDs i need to attach. Pics should be on here somewhere.

    Firstly i have a battery pack with wires. Not sure whether i need this, and where it would go if so. Any ideas?

    Secondly, as you might see in the picture, i have a LED driver, with two inputs from the plug attachment, but then there are four outputs. I am sure one set are to go to leds, and one set attach to the dimmer, although not sure which is which. The dimmer has three legs though. Any advice would get me started as i have used the heatsink plaster to stick all the leds down and im half way there.

    Lastly just to check. the leds have two + terminals and two -. Do i just start on one side with a plus and minus, then wire the next LED to the other sides' plus and minus. If this is the case, on the last LED, do i just leave one sides plus and minus unused or do i have to loop it back somehow?

    Thank you for reading, and any advice will get me started.
    Ben
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  2. #2
    kotlec's Avatar
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    LED. Two + and two - are same. Just use what you like.
    WIRING. + from driver goes to + of first led. Then "-" from same led goes to "+" of next led and so on until "-" of last led goes to "-" of driver.
    DIMMER. What you call "dimmer is simple potentiometer. Milde contact and any of outer ones will go to driver.
    DRIVER. I am not familar with this model of driver so may be someone else will chime in on that. I cant see on your microphoto what is written on driver itself. IF you see + and - , that definitely goes to led. RED+ BLACK- usually.

  3. #3
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    The battery pack is likely 2 AA batteries so that you can test the LEDs to make sure they aren't DOA. I suppose it could be the power supply for the dimmer, but not likely. As I understand it, a dimmable driver won't work unless you provide a 0-10V input to it, so you need another plug-in adapter to provide 10V to the dimming wires, and the pot varies the voltage on the terminals of the dimmer wires which in turn varies the current output of the driver.

    For future reference though, you really should pre-tin the LEDs before mounting them to the heat sink. Otherwise you have to heat up the LED pad to a longer amount of time in order to get the solder to bond to it, and if it heats up too long you can damage the LED, maybe not to the point of immediate failure, but it can affect the useful life if nothing else. Tinning before bonding means that the heat is not allowed to transfer away from the LED, so you don't need to sit there with the iron on the pad as long before the solder bonds. Then when you go to attach your wire, you just hit the solder with the iron and move the wire into it and pull the iron away - the iron is only on it for a couple seconds.

    Also it looks like you used a lot of thermal compound. You only need enough such that a very thin layer is between the LED and the heat sink. You're probably OK but there shouldn't be that much squeeze-out at the edge. The more compound you use, the poorer the heat transfer to the heat sink, the hotter the LED, the shorter the life. So as long as you pushed down hard enough to make for a thin layer (and the squeeze out is just because you used too much initially) it's probably fine. But there's enough compound around the edge of that LED in that one pic to bond down 2 or 3 more LEDs.

  4. #4

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    Ok. I thought afterwards there may have been too much, but I did press down quite hard with four fingers on the edge and wiggled them side to side to dispell any air.
    As for the outputs on the led driver. I have a black and red and two white ones. I would guess the white terminals go to the potentiometer, but there are three legs. Do I just ignore on leg? Thanks for the advice on wiring LEDs as, had I of done what I thought, it would have been in parallel and blown the driver.

  5. #5
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    Hmmm I feel like I should know this since I have an EE degree, but I just don't do much of this stuff!!

    IIRC you only connect to 2 legs of the pot. if you connect across the 2 ends, you get the same resistance no matter where you set the pot (you're at full resistance). If you connect across the middle to the end, then you get a varying resistance as you turn the pot. I think that's right, but then again, the last time I touched a pot was in college. That is one of the first times I have used 'college' and 'pot' in the same sentence without it meaning something else.

  6. #6

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    I did a nice build thread on another site and got lost of help. I took lost of pics..anyway it might help you. I messed up 5 cree LEDs fist try. so make sure there are no shorts before firing it up.
    here is the link;
    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...ghlight=devaji
    hope it helps

  7. #7

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    It's a long read and lots of calculations but it's a good thing to refer to. Thanks for that guys. Think I know what I'm doing now. Will try it a bit later on

  8. #8
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    Hi Ben,
    Not sure if you now have this sorted but in case you don't-
    Battery packet with two wires is a LED tester, put some batteries in and test each individual LED before gluing to heat sink.
    The LED driver, lets start with the end with two wires, connect the brown (live) power cord wire to the white wire that has L marked on the driver (which stands for live) and the blue (negative) wire with the white wire that has N marked on the driver.
    The driver you have is a dimm able driver, so in your kit you will also have a little dimmer control (has three little soldering points on it) solder the white negative wire to the middle arm and the positive to the bottom arm. Let me know if you want pictures. The top arm will remain empty/not used.
    Now from here on in all LED's are soldered/connected, positive to a negative or a negative to a positive. when you have all the LED's hooked up (your driver will drive a minimum of 7 LED's and maximum of 12) Connect the black negative wire from the driver to the last LED in the string that is positive, and the red wire to the last negative LED. (Wow this is harder to write than to do).
    Hope this helps! Let me know if you need any more info!
    Cheers Ben

  9. #9
    kotlec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron View Post
    Connect the black negative wire from the driver to the last LED in the string that is positive, and the red wire to the last negative LED. (Wow this is harder to write than to do).
    I have to ask. Are you sure about that ?
    Other drivers that I have used till now has arranged things vice versa.

  10. #10
    Byron's Avatar
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    Hi Koltec,
    Yes I am, but I do know that it does not matter if you wire the (AquaStyle kit only, that's all I have wired) negative to positive or neg to neg does not matter when connecting driver to the first LED in the string. Trying to keep it easy to understand and this is the way I wired my kit. I'm having a hard time writing this in an easy to understand way. Think I will take some photo's in the morning to show what I mean.
    Cheers Ben

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