Thread: Dimming an LED
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Paul[_46_] Paul[_46_] is offline
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Default Dimming an LED

Max Demian wrote:
On 28/04/2021 13:13, Paul wrote:
Max Demian wrote:

(I've seen idiot YouTube videos describing circuits that control LEDs
with potentiometers, either directly or via a power transistor; it's
inefficient and liable to overheat the pot and/or the transistor as
some of the comments say; also I think that controlling white LEDs in
this way is liable to change the colour of the light.)

Idiot YouTubes:

This depends on the situation.

The beauty of design, is keeping an open mind.

It's a matter of whether you like economy and dislike smoke arising from
the circuit.

If you're referring to SMPS problems at low voltage,
an SMPS is supposed to have UVLO. It's not our fault
if a necessary safety feature is missing.

SMPS run at constant power. As the voltage is dropped on
input, the current on the primary side rises. If allowed
to go unchecked, the current flow could be too much
for components on the primary side. "Under voltage lockout"
prevents that. Even mains distribution can deliver the
wrong voltage (it happened here at the house one day), and
devices in your house should be protected. Unfortunately,
there's nothing for motors, and motors can be damaged
with too low or too high of a voltage. But an SMPS
(switch mode power supply, like in the base of high
power LEDs), there is room in the silicon for all
sorts of features, and no excuses.

The end result of "resistor" experiments carried out on a proper
SMPS bulb, the bulb should work (at constant light output),
over a range, and promptly switch off (at around half-voltage
or so, as an arbitrary design choice). Experiments carried
out by hobbyists, should leave them scratching their heads,
but no smoke in the room.

Just design your own lights, if you don't like the commercial
ones, then see how good you are. You can get nice array
LEDs, an inch in diameter, that run off 40VDC or so, and you
can use that as a starting material if you want to light
a room with just one bulb. But don't expect your project
to be small enough, to fit existing fixturing.

Maybe a dropper bulb, instead of an SMPS bulb,
would be a starting material. And preferably not
the Dubai bulb, as it has a bit of regulation
built in. Just a plain cheap Chinese dropper and
do your resistor-style experiments. With enough
dropper bulbs (each off a separate resistor), you
can light a room. Even if it costs a fortune for
a given amount of light. Dropper bulbs are preferred
by ham radio operators, as the dropper doesn't generate
RF hash like the SMPS does. With enough dropper
bulbs, you can just switch some off if you want
"less light".