Saturday May 18, 2024

Wiring Multiple LEDs

LEDs in Parallel
What happens if you want to light 20 LEDs in the same circuit?  There must be a way to do this without needing a 60v power supply as would be required if you wired the LEDs in series.  Well, the answer my friend -- is parallel wiring.  When wiring LEDs in parallel you're creating seperate mini circuits, each with their own 6v power supply.  Each circuit consists of the battery (positive, ground), an LED and a resistor.

In the schematic below there are 3 LEDs, each are part of a different mini circuit.  If you removed one of the LEDs from the circuit, the other LEDs would still light brightly just as they had before.  You're only limited by the current the battery is capable of supplying.  So you could theoretically hook up 20 or 30 LEDs to the same 6v battery, but you would find the battery dies quicker depending on the number of LEDs you're hooking up and total amps being used by all the components in the circuit.

LEDs in Parallel


Below is a picture of my 3 LEDs wired in parallel (as in the schematic above) on a breadboard.  It's the exact same circuit as in the Solderless Breadboard tutorial, only with two more mini circuits!  Just connect the other two sets of LEDs the same way to the postive / ground rails and you're set!

Wiring Parallel LEDs on Breadboard

Try Experimenting!
Now try hooking up multiple LEDs in series and parallel!  Remembere to use V/I = R to figure out what (if any) resistor values you will need to bring the LED operating voltage within spec.  There are a lot more mathematical equations involved here to figure out how long the battery can supply the power, whether you're exceeding the amps of the supply, etc.. but when using a lower voltage battery supply you're pretty safe.  I wonder how many LEDs can be hooked up to a single battery?  Sounds like a good topic for a future tutorial!

More Information on Series versus Parallel Circuits
For more information in Series versus Parallel wiring, check out these links:

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Posted 09/11/13 8:38AM by jbing
I am making UV Lights for Ghost Hunting. I cant seem to figure out how to wire them correctly. I cant get all the lights the light evenly, they all have a different brightness. here are the specs on the leds.
DC Forward current=20mA
I am powering them with a 9volt batt.
I have UV Leds in a box.
Can any 1 help me wire them correctly?
Thank You
wiring multiple led
Posted 03/13/13 8:56PM by treehuggerz
Hi I'm really new to this I'm trying to make a uv led writing board i want to use 9 uv leds 5mm each are 3.3 fw supply and 20 ma fw current im confused should i make 3 in each series and then run the sets of series in parallel or can i just run 9 leds in parallel i dont care how often. I have to change the battery.... also if you need 150 ohm resistance and you are running in parallel would you put 150 in front of each led or should you divide the resistance by how many leds you are using . Thanks so much for any help i have pictures of what I'm trying to do if that helps you help me :)
wiring multiple led diodes
Posted 02/01/13 8:40AM by mangrav
Hi, I have a rechargeable 2ft emergency twin ordinary tube light with 6v battery integrated. I want to remove the tube light and adjust it with 30 led diodes of 5mm, 20mA using the same circuit. Can you please help me in choosing the right resistors and making the wiring?
connecting blue uv led to insect zapper in lieu of uv tube lamp
Posted 04/12/12 10:08AM by kotakstreet
would be grateful if you can give me a circuit to connect 6 uv led working on 220v & 6v dc
Resistor before or after the LED
Posted 02/02/12 10:59AM by Anonymous Techdoser
It doesn't matter whether the resistor goes before or after the LED. The factor that burns out components is CURRENT, not VOLTAGE. The current through each loop in the circuit is the same whether the resistor is placed before or after the LED.
3 L.E.D
Posted 10/03/11 3:53AM by ajaykumargaur
I have seen some circuit in the market, which have 3 color chaning LED in series and the circuit is operated from 220 Volts.
I have the same but the resistance inside it gets burn on inverter, can any one help on this?
Electron flow vs. Current flow
Posted 02/04/11 6:02PM by Anonymous Techdoser
To answer why the resistor is connected after the led is because of a misunderstanding of the flow of electricity before the electron was actually discovered, the electrons flow from negative to positive. So if you look at the schematic and follow the path from the negative terminal of the power supply - through the resistor - through the LED - back to the positive terminal of the power supply.
Resistor after LED
Posted 10/23/10 4:03AM by Anonymous Techdoser
Basically speaking current flows from negative to positive so the resistor is in front of the LED.
Will the required current be across each led?
Posted 06/29/10 10:32AM by Shoaib
I am in doubt about the current across each parallel diode. If the required current across each diode is 25mA, How can I maintain this amount of current across each diode?
why is the resistor connected after the led
Posted 06/05/10 3:02AM by try.myx
as in your circuit diagram in the wiring multple led , why is the resistor connected after the led . isnt it supposed to be in front. now im in doubt.
From the way i think and understand the resistor is used to minimise the voltage. so that the led will not recieve excess of voltage from burning it.
please clear me the doubt . thnx in advance