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Power Source for LED Lighting

Jose models HO scale and asks readers:

“What kind of transformer do I have to buy for led lights?”

4 Responses to Power Source for LED Lighting

  • Billsays:

    You don’t say what you are doing with these lights.Regardless of what you do with them led’s require a dc power source. They are very efficient and as such you don’t need much power. Generally the problem is too much power and this is compensated for by using a resistor before the led. Too much power and the led’s blow right away. The size of resistor is determined by the number of lights, there electrical characteristics (slightly different depending on colour) and the amount of power being supplied. A quick search on line will get you all the information you need to determine power supply requirements and resistor size.depending on what you are trying to do.


  • Chris Manvellsays:

    Rather than using a transformer and converting the output to DC, I use a cheap 9Vdc 2Amp powerpack (loads of them on eBay) with a 1k resistor in series with each LED. 2A is an overkill but I also have a lot of filament bulbs in groups of 3 in series. NB. The longer lead on the LED is the anode and must be connected to the +ve supply. The resistor can be on either side of the diode but best to be consistent.
    Incidentally, if you are working in the steam era, use yellow LEDs. The ‘white/daylight ones look like arc lights. Fine tho’ for modern as the white ones mimic fluorescent lighting.

  • Phil Malavoltasays:

    Depending on the way you wish to use them would help a lot. I they will be on all the time, either of the other 2 comments would be fine. If you want to turn them on and off at various times, or for other uses that will turn on and off or sequence. You might want to look at an Arduino and look at learning how to use one. Hope this will give you some great ideas.

  • Trevor Daviessays:

    If you search Ebay for cheap Chinese variable voltage regulator “DC-DC Buck Converter Step Down Module LM2596 Power Supply Output 1.5V-35V” only a couple of £s or so. Set to 1.8 or whatever you need for the type of LED you are using. No resister needed and can cope with a large number of LEDs.

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