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Efficient Current Source for High-Power LEDs


To get the maximum brightness and working life out of a high-power LED, it needs to be driven at the optimum specified current. Allowing the current to exceed the permitted value is to be avoided at all costs, since it will severely affect the life of the device. A power supply or a battery with a small current-limiting resistor is not really an ideal solution, since not only is energy wasted in heating the resistor, but, if a small value is chosen to minimise this wastage, small changes in the applied voltage will lead to large changes in the current that flows. It is well known that LEDs have a small dynamic resistance in the neighbourhood of their optimal operating point. We will therefore need more in the way of electronics than a simple series resistor to meet our requirements.
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