Dimmable LED component - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Dimmable LED component

I've been doing some research and found an IC to dim LED lights.
http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folder...t/tlc5941.html

the data input is serial to control the dim levels, 0V - 5V, I believe.

You can get it at mouser.com for less than $5.
http://www.mouser.com/Search/Refine....eyword=TLC5941

or try to get a free sample from Texas Instrument.


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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 08:12 PM
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Uh, whoa. Sorry to rain on your parade here

All of those components are tightly-pinpacked SMT components. Next to nobody here is going to be able to use them. They also use a serial communication bus, so you'll have to have a microprocessor to talk to them. At the complexities of LED dimming we'd need, you might as well just use the microprocessor to do it. The 3.5-5.5v is the allowable range for the logic level -- but there's still an entire protocol behind "LED 1, brightness 1330". And it tops out at 2.5W of heat dissipation.

I'm still redrawing the schematics for my LED dimmer (I'd lost them), but it should be easy enough for (most) anyone here to build or use.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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No parade rained on.. I clearly stated it uses serial and gave you a link where you can view the schematic. I have a microprocessor.


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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
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Uh, whoa. Sorry to rain on your parade here

All of those components are tightly-pinpacked SMT components.
No, it's also available in a PDIP through-hole package (the "NT" suffix).
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 07:05 PM
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I don't really see the point in this considering the many easy ways of making a PWM circuit with a few very common components.

Also considering that it only drives 16 LEDs, and only the smaller types (none of the 1-3W ones), and the fact that it completely dictates the circuit design and voltage levels then I don't see it as a very great option for most uses.

If you really want a programmable circuit I would just get a PIC chip because they are cheap and easy to find and it would do away with the use of another microprocessor.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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I got my nt chip today.. looks like fun.

1 chip drives 16 LED but you can have multiple chips connected in parallel so you can go up to infinity....

the chip requires 3.5v-5v but the LED's max voltage source is 17V. The chip is a drain not a source.

Quote:
I don't see it as a very great option for most uses
If you bother to read the pdf, the applications are 'Monocolor, Multicolor, Full-Color LED Displays 2,Display Back-Lighting'


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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 03:51 PM
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1 chip drives 16 LED but you can have multiple chips connected in parallel so you can go up to infinity....
At 17V and 80ma per channel, it can drive more than one ultrabright T1-3/4LED per channel. You might be able to squeeze 96 LEDS on a single chip using serial chains, or even more using serial/parallel chains (trickier).

Do you have plans in mind for this chip, or just playing?
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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At 17V and 80ma per channel, it can drive more than one ultrabright T1-3/4LED per channel. You might be able to squeeze 96 LEDS on a single chip using serial chains, or even more using serial/parallel chains (trickier).

Do you have plans in mind for this chip, or just playing?
wow, thanks for the info.
I have something in mind. I just bought 3 hi-output RBG LED. One LED has 3 channels obviously, ~3V per channel. This is going over a small tank so it might be enough. If not, I'll buy more LED.

So I can play with color instead of regular fading. I want the controller to have an internal clock where in the morning, the light will be orange-yellow; mid-day will be full white; evening will be red-purple; at night will be blue for a moon light situation..

I'll post the experiment. I'll introduce the arduino MC as well.


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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 05:39 PM
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Looking good mistergreen! Can't wait to see how this turns out.

A few questions, if you don't mind:
  • What LEDs are you using?
  • Do the RGB LEDs have individual anodes and cathodes for each color?
  • How are you planning to connect them?
  • Are you using the Arduino programming environment (processing, I think it's called) or something else (WinAVR, Codevision, etc.)?
  • Any plans on utilizing all the leftover processing power of the Arduino?

I don't know if you've run any of the numbers yet, but I was just thinking about it so here goes:

Given 3X RGB @ 80mA
3*Vred*80mA=3*2*80=480mW
3*Vgreen*80mA=3*3.2*80=768mW
3*Vblue*80mA=3*3.2*80=768mW

Total=768*768+480=2016mW

So just a smidge over 2W of LED light (plus the possibility for light shows ;-)
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 01:04 AM
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Uh what kinda LEDs are you using?

Why not use Cree XP-G LEDs or XR-E? those are like $4-$5 per led and are a lot brighter

The white XR-E uses 3.7V and 1000ma per LED and is really bright.

Also why not use a Meanwell ELN-60-15 LED Driver? Those things put out 15V 4amps and have features such as adjustable +- 25% voltage and amp AND Dimming.

For dimming they come in 2 flavors D and P type. You can use an arduino to control the D type i think. Its so simple to use just wire it up the a AC prong and series or parallel the leds together and your good to go. The drivers are like $30 each.
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Robotguy View Post
Looking good mistergreen! Can't wait to see how this turns out.

A few questions, if you don't mind:
  • What LEDs are you using?
  • Do the RGB LEDs have individual anodes and cathodes for each color?
  • How are you planning to connect them?
  • Are you using the Arduino programming environment (processing, I think it's called) or something else (WinAVR, Codevision, etc.)?
  • Any plans on utilizing all the leftover processing power of the Arduino?
your project got me thinking about this!

I got the Triple Output High Power RGB LED that you got.. I also bought some cheaper 5mm ones for fun. Thank goodness there are instructions on how to connect the component to the arduino. And I'm using the arduino environment which implements the wiring environment. I have both There are pre-made libraries to control the tlc5941/tlc5940 (older chip) too so I won't have to spend months coding the thing.

Yes, I'm planning to use every output pins available on the arduino
It's up to my imagination and wallet.

I think the arduino would be perfect for this hobby. It's powerful, fairly easy to use so people shouldn't be scared of it. Hey, it was made for artists, not engineers. And the price is right at $30. I'll talk more about it in another thread.

I'm pretty good with processing (java) too so I can build a gui interface for my computer to control these components.


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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I've hooked everything up for a test run.
The LEDs are animated back and forth like the old KITT in Knight Rider.
16 LED of various colored are place on each channels of the tlc5941.



Next step is to have the arduino control RGB LEDs.

All software and how to set up the chip can be found here http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Learning/TLC5940


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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 12:04 AM
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Looking good!

I ordered my white LEDs from DealExtreme and it looks like they're going to to take forever to get here, so I'll have to live vicariously through you until then.

Don't forget, we're going to need a video of the flashing led's so we can say "Ooooh! Ahhhh!"
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 04:43 AM
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Sweet! You're well on your way.

I can share some tips on driving LEDs at maximum intensity and efficiency using this chip if you're interested.
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Sweet! You're well on your way.

I can share some tips on driving LEDs at maximum intensity and efficiency using this chip if you're interested.
yes please!
I was trying to figure it out earlier.
Right now it's drawing 5V from the ardiuno via USB.
Getting the right AMP is important so the chip doesn't blow up.

I want to see if I can hook this guy up.
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...oducts_id=8718
1W per channel so this is a 3W LED.


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