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 LED Resistor Calculator

Single led - Leds in series - Leds in parallel

Single led:
Single Led Resistance Resistor Circuit Schematic Calculator
Maximum Supply Voltage (Vmax)This is the maximum voltage which the led circuit and resistor will ever be exposed to. Note that most 12 volt systems are nominally 12 volts, but in practice often are actually 13 volts, 14 volts or even 14.5+ volts. This oversight is the primary cause of premature led failure. If the actual voltage applied to your circuit exceeds this number, the led and/or resistor would fail prematurely, or possibly instantly. To be safe, be sure to use the maximum expected voltage. VOLTS
Forward Voltage (Vf)This is the maximum voltage which the led can safely operate at if there was no resistance. "Forward" refers to the voltage being applied to the circuit forward of the resistor, rather than thru the resistor. This is usally a low voltage, like 1.8-4.0 volts. If a higher voltage is applied directly to the led without passing thru a resistor, the led would fail prematurely, or possibly instantly. VOLTS
Maximum LED Current (lmax)This is the maximum current which the led is rated to be able to be driven at. With higher powered leds, you must also assure that you have suficent cooling to allow the led to survive at peak rated current. If the maximum rated current, or maximum safe operating temperature (junction temperature) of the led is exceeded, the led would fail prematurely, or possibly instantly. MILLIAMPS



Resistor Value (R)This is the resistor value which will set the current thru the circuit exactly at the value of the Maximum Led Current value (Imax) when the Maximum Supply Voltage (Vmax) is applied to the circuit.
OHMS
Nearest Higher Resistor (10%, E12) AvailableThis is the resistor value which is the next higher of the commmon E12 (10%) resistors available. These resistors come in the following sizes: (100,120,150,180,220,270,330,390,470,560,680,820 ohm). By choosing the next higher value resistor the result will be a dimmer led, but less likelihood of premature failure. Choosing the next lower value resistor will result in a brigher led, but higher risk of premature failure. OHMS
Minimum Resistor Wattage (Wmin)This is the minimum acceptable wattage rating for the resistor to be used. Using a resistor with a higher wattage rating is always better, and will result in both the resistor and led staying cooler and lasting longer. The downside of choosing a resistor which is rated too high in wattage is that resistors which are rated at higher wattages are also larger in size. Choosing a resistor that is close to, or below the Minimum Resistor Wattage value will result in the resistor failing and could also cause a fire, or burn up the circuity and led. WATTS (Or Greater) Recommended Resistor Wattage (Wrec)This is a recommended wattage rating for the resistor to be used. Using a resistor with a higher wattage rating is always better, and will result in both the resistor and led staying cooler and lasting longer. The downside of choosing a resistor which is rated too high in wattage is that resistors which are rated at higher wattages are also larger in size. Choosing a resistor that is close to, or below the Minimum Resistor Wattage value will result in the resistor failing and could also cause a fire, or burn up the circuity and led. WATTS (Or Greater)
Leds in series:
Series Led Resistance Resistor Circuit Schematic Calculator
Maximum Supply Voltage (Vmax)This is the maximum voltage which the led circuit and resistor will ever be exposed to. Note that most 12 volt systems are nominally 12 volts, but in practice often are actually 13 volts, 14 volts or even 14.5+ volts. This oversight is the primary cause of premature led failure. If the actual voltage applied to your circuit exceeds this number, the led and/or resistor would fail prematurely, or possibly instantly. To be safe, be sure to use the maximum expected voltage. VOLTS
Forward Voltage (Vf)This is the maximum voltage which each of the the leds alone can safely operate at if there was no resistance. "Forward" refers to the voltage being applied to the circuit forward of the resistor, rather than thru the resistor. When you have more than one led, you must use the lowest value of the led with the lowest value so that it will not be overloaded, or if the Forward Voltage of each of leds on the same circuit are mot matched closely, then they should be on seperate circuits with their own resistor. This value is usally a low voltage, like 1.8-4.0 volts. If a higher voltage is applied directly to the led without passing thru a resistor, the led would fail prematurely, or possibly instantly. If one or more of the leds connected has a lower Forward Voltage than is used in the calculation, then that led will be vulnerable to premature failure. VOLTS
Maximum LED Current (lmax)This is the maximum current which the led is rated to be able to be driven at. With higher powered leds, you must also assure that you have suficent cooling to allow the led to survive at peak rated current. If the maximum rated current, or maximum safe operating temperature (junction temperature) of any of the leds in the circuit is exceeded, the led would fail prematurely, or possibly instantly. MILLIAMPS
Number Of Leds ConnectedEnter the total number of leds to be connected to this resistor.



Resistor Value (R)This is the resistor value which will set the current thru the circuit exactly at the value of the Maximum Led Current value (Imax) when the Maximum Supply Voltage (Vmax) is applied to the circuit. OHMS
Nearest Higher Resistor (10%, E12) AvailableThis is the resistor value which is the next higher of the commmon E12 (10%) resistors available. These resistors come in the following sizes: (100,120,150,180,220,270,330,390,470,560,680,820 ohm). By choosing the next higher value resistor the result will be a dimmer led, but less likelihood of premature failure. Choosing the next lower value resistor will result in a brigher led, but higher risk of premature failure. OHMS
Minimum Resistor Wattage (Wmin)This is the minimum acceptable wattage rating for the resistor to be used. Using a resistor with a higher wattage rating is always better, and will result in both the resistor and led staying cooler and lasting longer. The downside of choosing a resistor which is rated too high in wattage is that resistors which are rated at higher wattages are also larger in size. Choosing a resistor that is close to, or below the Minimum Resistor Wattage value will result in the resistor failing and could also cause a fire, or burn up the circuity and led. WATTS (Or Greater)
Recommended Resistor Wattage (Wrec)This is a recommended wattage rating for the resistor to be used. Using a resistor with a higher wattage rating is always better, and will result in both the resistor and led staying cooler and lasting longer. The downside of choosing a resistor which is rated too high in wattage is that resistors which are rated at higher wattages are also larger in size. Choosing a resistor that is close to, or below the Minimum Resistor Wattage value will result in the resistor failing and could also cause a fire, or burn up the circuity and led.
WATTS (Or Greater)
Leds in parallel:
Parallel Led Resistance Resistor Circuit Schematic Calculator
Maximum Supply Voltage (Vmax)This is the maximum voltage which the led circuit and resistor will ever be exposed to. Note that most 12 volt systems are nominally 12 volts, but in practice often are actually 13 volts, 14 volts or even 14.5+ volts. This oversight is the primary cause of premature led failure. If the actual voltage applied to your circuit exceeds this number, the led and/or resistor would fail prematurely, or possibly instantly. To be safe, be sure to use the maximum expected voltage. VOLTS
Forward Voltage (Vf)This is the maximum voltage which each of the the leds alone can safely operate at if there was no resistance. "Forward" refers to the voltage being applied to the circuit forward of the resistor, rather than thru the resistor. When you have more than one led ands you connect in parralel, it is essential that the Forward Voltage of each led in the circuit be identical, or the led with the lower Forward Voltage will be overloaded, or if the Forward Voltage of each of leds on the same circuit are not midentical, then they should be on seperate circuits with their own resistor. This value is usally a low voltage, like 1.8-4.0 volts. If a higher voltage is applied directly to the led without passing thru a resistor, the led would fail prematurely, or possibly instantly. If one or more of the leds connected has a lower Forward Voltage than is used in the calculation, then that led will be vulnerable to premature failure. VOLTS
Maximum LED Current (lmax)This is the maximum current which the led is rated to be able to be driven at. With higher powered leds, you must also assure that you have suficent cooling to allow the led to survive at peak rated current. If the maximum rated current, or maximum safe operating temperature (junction temperature) of any of the leds in the circuit is exceeded, the led would fail prematurely, or possibly instantly.
MILLIAMPS
Number Of Leds ConnectedEnter the number of leds you are connecting to the circuit.



Resistor Value (R)This is the resistor value which will set the current thru the circuit exactly at the value of the Maximum Led Current value (Imax) when the Maximum Supply Voltage (Vmax) is applied to the circuit. OHMS
Nearest Higher Resistor (10%, E12) AvailableThis is the resistor value which is the next higher of the commmon E12 (10%) resistors available. These resistors come in the following sizes: (100,120,150,180,220,270,330,390,470,560,680,820 ohm). By choosing the next higher value resistor the result will be a dimmer led, but less likelihood of premature failure. Choosing the next lower value resistor will result in a brigher led, but higher risk of premature failure. OHMS
Minimum Resistor Wattage (Wmin)This is the minimum acceptable wattage rating for the resistor to be used. Using a resistor with a higher wattage rating is always better, and will result in both the resistor and led staying cooler and lasting longer. The downside of choosing a resistor which is rated too high in wattage is that resistors which are rated at higher wattages are also larger in size. Choosing a resistor that is close to, or below the Minimum Resistor Wattage value will result in the resistor failing and could also cause a fire, or burn up the circuity and led. WATTS (Or Greater)
Recommended Resistor Wattage (Wrec)This is a recommended wattage rating for the resistor to be used. Using a resistor with a higher wattage rating is always better, and will result in both the resistor and led staying cooler and lasting longer. The downside of choosing a resistor which is rated too high in wattage is that resistors which are rated at higher wattages are also larger in size. Choosing a resistor that is close to, or below the Minimum Resistor Wattage value will result in the resistor failing and could also cause a fire, or burn up the circuity and led.
WATTS (Or Greater)

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