Driving multiple high-power LEDs in switch mode is no easy task, assuming uniform brightness, dimming capability, and power factor correction play any sort of role. With renewed demand for LED lighting solutions in recent years, there are several options to get started with building a power supply.
Consider the following tips, specific to electrical power supply:
Engineers who decide to go this route have some great choices. Mean Well's offline LED power supply is well-equipped with dimming features, integrated protections, universal AC input, and PFC -- all nicely packaged for both indoor and outdoor applications. Though feature-rich, there are simpler alternatives available for engineers who prefer them.
Go with proven designs
Those new to power supply design are best left to proven designs. Semiconductor companies like Texas Instruments, STMicroelectronics, and Linear Technology publish comprehensive reference designs that include original schematics, bills of materials, application notes, and even Gerber files. For those not limited by proprietary designs, these online guides are a great resource. Be mindful, though, when modifying a supplier’s reference design, and keep them on the bill of materials through design, prototype, and production.
Go all in
Designing a supply from scratch doesn’t mean you have to go all in, all alone. Find a community of peers and experts, such as element14, to ask questions and share ideas. For professional engineers and makers alike, this is often the most enjoyable part. With more access to a global knowledge base, affordable circuit design software and advanced prototyping facilities, there has never been a better time to be your own ODM. So LED there be light!
David Finch is technical marketing manager for Newark element14.
Iterative design — the cycle of prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining a product — existed long before additive manufacturing, but it has never been as efficient and approachable as it is today with 3D printing.
People usually think of a time constant as the time it takes a first order system to change 63% of the way to the steady state value in response to a step change in the input -- it’s basically a measure of the responsiveness of the system. This is true, but in reality, time constants are often not constant. They can change just like system gains change as the environment or the geometry of the system changes.
At its core, sound is a relatively simple natural phenomenon caused by pressure pulsations or vibrations propagating through various mediums in the world around us. Studies have shown that the complete absence of sound can drive a person insane, causing them to experience hallucinations. Likewise, loud and overwhelming sound can have the same effect. This especially holds true in manufacturing and plant environments where loud noises are the norm.
The tech industry is no stranger to crowdsourcing funding for new projects, and the team at element14 are no strangers to crowdsourcing ideas for new projects through its design competitions. But what about crowdsourcing new components?
It has been common wisdom of late that anything you needed to manufacture could be made more cost-effectively on foreign shores. Following World War II, the label “Made in Japan” was as ubiquitous as is the “Made in China” version today and often had very similar -- not always positive -- connotations. Along the way, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Pacific-rim nations have each had their turn at being the preferred low-cost alternative to manufacturing here in the US.
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