LEDs and resistors circuit


Posted on Feb 5, 2014

An LED is an electronic component or semiconductor to be more precise. This means that it is neither a conductor (something that conducts electricity) or insulator (something that does not conduct electricity) - it is something in between. LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode. Simply put, a diode is a device that only allows current flow in


LEDs and resistors circuit
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one direction and blocks it flowing in the other direction. The LED is a diode that emits light when current flows through it in the correct direction. This also means that the LED is a polarized device - it has a positive and negative side (also known as anode and cathode respectively). If it is not the right way around in the circuit to be used, current will not flow and no light will be emitted. LEDs also don`t like to be installed the wrong way around. One a certain voltage level is reached, the LED can self-destruct if installed back-to-front. Each leg of an LED is identified by its length. The longer leg is known as the anode or positive side The shorter leg is known as the cathode, or negative side. Normally, looking from the top, there is a "flat" side of the LED - this also signifies the cathode. To use an LED, you should find out the specifications about their performance. This will show things like viewing angle, voltage, current required, possibly the light wavelength emitted and a few other parameters. The main ones are voltage and current. As a general rule of thumb, the voltage could be considered as 2V, and current considered as 20mA (milli-amps, or 0. 02A). If you don`t know the particular specifications of the LED you are using (it could be 1. 8V or 2. 2V or 30mA for example), use the above rule-of-thumb figures. For a basic circuit of a single LED and power source, a resistor (a semiconductor that has a...




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