How to: Connect a string of LEDs to an LED driver


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This is a quick tutorial on how to correctly wire up a set (or “string”) of LEDs, and connect them to an LED driver. This is designed to be an idiot’s guide, but if you find it difficult changing a fuse on a plug, then perhaps get someone to help you out!

Wire up the LED string

LEDs are best run in series, using a constant current LED driver. To wire up the LEDs in series into a “string” of LEDs, connect the negative - terminal of one LED, to the positive + terminal of the next. You will end up with a string of LEDs, with an overall positive + terminal at one end, and an overall negative - terminal at the other end.

Connect the LED string to the driver

  1. Connect the positive + terminal of your LED string to the positive + output of your LED driver. The positive + output of the LED driver is usually labelled as Vout+ or V+. Make sure you are not confusing this with the positive + INPUT which is usually labelled as Vin+ or ACL.

  2. Connect the negative - terminal of your LED string to the negative - output of your LED driver. The negative - output of the LED driver is usually labelled as Vout- or V-. Make sure you are not confusing this with the negative - INPUT which is usually labelled as Vin- or ACN.

Connect power to the driver

If you’re using a mains-powered LED driver like the Mean Well APC or LPC models, you need to connect the input to mains power:

  1. Connect the live mains input wire (marked ACL on the driver - brown) to live mains power (wired through a fuse in a standard 3-pin UK plug).

  2. Connect the neutral mains input wire (marked ACN on the driver - blue) to neutral mains power.

  3. If an earth wire is used, wire this to the mains earth (usually yellow/green). Note: an earth wire is not used in the APC driver above.

If you’re using a DC-powered driver like the Mean Well LDD models, you need to connect the driver’s input to your DC PSU (power supply unit):

  1. If you’re using a PSU with a wire on it’s output ending in a 5.5mm barrel plug, use a screw adapter to convert the 5.5mm barrel plug into screw terminals. Note: if you have an LEDbloke kit then this would have been provided in your kit to make life easier for you. Below is what we’re talking about:

  2. Connect the Vin+ of the driver to the positive + screw terminal of the power supply.

  3. Connect the Vin- of the driver to the negative - screw terminal of the power supply.

  4. Some drivers are also dimmable, the Mean Well LDD driver in the picture above for example also has a DIM pin/wire for dimming purposes. Dimming will require the use of an LED controller. If you won’t be using one, just leave the DIM pin/wire alone (perhaps tape off the end with electrical tape to avoid it touching anything though!).

Powering up!

WARNING! When powering up, NEVER connect/disconnect LEDs from a powered driver. ALWAYS power down the driver itself, allow a few moments for the driver to lose all of it’s power, THEN connect/disconnect the LEDs from the driver.

Otherwise, you risk applying too much voltage to the LEDs and destroying them.

If you’re in doubt, don’t turn it on - be patient, get in touch, let us check for you first! :slight_smile:

Help!

If you’re still having trouble, post a new topic and someone will try and assist :smile: