LED power supply and output

An LED illuminator can be controlled by either setting the voltage V across the circuit or by directly feeding the circuit with electric current I.

One important consideration is that the luminous flux produced by a single LED increases almost linearly with the current while it does not do so with respect to the voltage applied: 1% uncertainty on the driving current will translate into 1% luminance uncertainty, while 1% uncertainty on the input voltage can result in a several percentage points variation (see picture). For this reason, it is suggested to directly regulate the current and not the voltage, so that the light output is stable, tightly controlled and highly repeatable.

For example, in measurement applications, it is paramount to obtain images with a stable grey level background to ensure consistency of the results: this is achieved by avoiding light flickering and ensuring that the LED forward current of the telecentric light is precisely controlled.

LED current, tension and light output graphs.
LED current, tension and light output graphs.
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