No, unless they are regulated (seems unlikely) you will overcurrent the
devices and they will burn out.
Get a 12 or 14 volt wall-wart power supply from Radio Shack, or even a 13.6
VDC cigarette-lighter power supply.
Yeah, it'll work great - for a very short time. At a guess, I'd say
you'll have a wonderful lighting system for about... Oh... 5 minutes,
Chances are beyond high that they're designed for a 12-14 volt DC
supply. Which means that your nearly double-rated-voltage supply (and
AC, no less...) should cook them off quite nicely in short order.
Precisely HOW short order is hard to say without knowing specific
details of the units, but it isn't a question of "will they survive?",
but "How long before the combination of double-the-rated-voltage
flipping from forward to reverse, plus Ohm's law cause them to go
"Fzzzt" and let all the magic smoke out?" As I said, my bet is on "not
very long at all". Definitely under an hour, probably under 5 minutes,
possibly under 10 seconds. (Side note: It's not an absolute certainty,
but the very real possibility of an outright explosion at the moment of
powerup with that oversized supply does exist)
If you're going to go that route, you want a proper 12-14 volt *DC*
supply, preferably regulated. I'd expect that these things want to draw
somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-30 ma per physical LED, perhaps a
shade more - 50-ish ma would be about the top end, I'd estimate, but the
new white diodes seem to prefer lower amps than the traditional reds,
greens, and ambers. Without knowing *EXACTLY* which diode they use,
though, it's impossible to do more than give you some ballpark figures,
since each maker's product is specced a bit different than the next one.
Get a supply rated for those kind of numbers, and you've at least got a
fighting chance of keeping them lit for more than a few minutes before
they go up in smoke.
Don Bruder - email@example.com - New Email policy in effect as of Feb. 21, 2004.
Short form: I'm trashing EVERY E-mail that doesn't contain a password in the
Don and Richard K are right that 24VAC would wreck a
12V DC LED unit in short order. Two units in series
with a diode and the 24VAC transformer would last
longer, but the 34V peak from 24V RMS is excessive.
Three units in series would work fine, hooked to the
DC side of a full-wave bridge, like the first item at
It sounds like you [D.P.] want to use 2 units (~$7 each,
~$15 total) and to do that with the 24VAC transformer and
a full-wave bridge you would need to add a series resistor
sized to drop 10 volts (ie, 34V - 24V) at whatever current
the LED units draw. For example, if they draw .2A,
R = 10V / 0.2A = 50 ohms. For DC, power = I*V = 2W, so you
would need a power resistor a couple of cubic cm in size,
although a 12V light bulb of that wattage would work ok.
(Eg, if your LED lights drew .3A, use a 3W 12V bulb, etc)
Probably you will find it easier to follow Don's advice
about using a 12VDC power supply. Eg, click the
"transformers" link on the allelectronics page above
and pick out a $5 12VDC wall wart, or get one for half
a dollar at Goodwill/Salvation Army/etc.
Thanks guys. I'll hunt thru my collection of little power supplies for a
more suitable device. I looked at the bulbs again and there is a
resistor in the shell with the 6 led's I suppose to limit the power
from the auto circuitry.
Why don't you just buy a set of under-the-cabinet low voltage lights
from Home Depot or Lowes? Complete kit, pretty cheap. Usually halogen,
but they may have LED versions. I'd prefer halogens - brighter, better
Fort Worth TX
daniel peterman wrote:
Not with AC from a transformer. Hmm, if you just added one rectifier
in series with the 24-volt transformer you'd have DC with an
average value of about 12 volts. A 1N400x would suffice.
Email me your address, I'll send you a couple in an envelope.
Actually, the RMS average is 17V for 24V half-wave rectified.
But the average is irrelevant here -- what matters is peak
current draw, which would occur at peak voltage, which is
24*sqrt(2) or about 34V. This is too high even with 2 12V
devices in series; they'd be running about 50% over-current
for a few milliseconds at a time, and that would probably
shorten the LED lives from decades down to mere years.
Don'cha love the term "actually" as in "and now the truth"?
It's such a nice sorta Mr. Peabody sort of preamble.
Actually, "RMS" and "average" are different measures. Actually, the
average value of a half-wave rectifed sinewave is .318 * peak value
-- more accurately, peak_value/pi. Peak voltage from a 24VRMS
xfmr is 33.9 volts, average after halfwave rectification is 10.79
volts minus 1 diode drop. RMS is relevant to the dropping resistor,
but not to the LED because the LED is essentially a constant-voltage
device. It only cares about current. Peak LED current will be
considerably higher than rated, but avg current will be slightly less
than at 12 volts DC. Most larger-die LED's will tolerate that
even down at 60 Hz.
If the power rating on the resistor is marginal, that could be a
problem -- I didn't think of that until later.
I agree that a regulated 12 to 14.4 volt supply would be a safer bet.
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