# How to calculate resistor value for LED circuits? (2023)

## How to find the resistor value for different types of LED circuits

The following step-by-step guide will help you find the correct value of a resistor (or resistor).resistors) for one or more LEDs and LED string circuits to design and connect to the battery and power supply.

The following guide will show you how:

• Calculate the value of the resistors for different LED circuits.
• Calculate the forward current of the LEDs.
• Calculate the forward voltage for various LED circuits.
• Connect the LEDs in series with a battery.
• Connect the LEDs in parallel to a battery.
• Connect LEDs in series-parallel combination circuits.

Update:you can use this tooLED Resistor Calculatorfor the same purpose, i. h to determine the value of the exact or nearest standard value of resistance for LED circuits.

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### Typical LED symbol, structure and line identification

Click to enlarge the image

### Formula to find the resistance value for an LED circuit

resistance value= (VDelivery– V.F) ÷ yoF

Wo:

• VDelivery= supply voltage
• VF= forward voltage
• IF= direct current

The following formula can be used to calculate the value of the power rating of the resistor.

resistance classification= yoF2× resistance value

### Find the value of a resistor to connect to an LED

Before going into details, let's try to evaluate the following simple circuit. This makes it easy to determine the value of resistors for other complex circuits.

Click to enlarge the image

(Video) LED resistor value calculation explained (Ohm's Law)

Example:

In the above simple LED circuit, the supply voltage is 6 V, the forward voltage of the LED (VF) is 1.3 volts and the forward current (IF) is 10mA.

The value of the resistor (which we put in series with the LED) for the previous circuit would now be:

resistance value= (VDelivery– V.F) ÷ yoF = (6 – 1,3) ÷ 10mA =470 Ω

current draw =20mA

Resistor power formula for this circuit

Resistance Rating = IF2× resistance value

= (10mA)2× 470 Ω = 0.047W =47 mW

ButThis is the minimum resistor value required to ensure that the resistor does not overheat. Therefore, it is recommended to double the resistance rating you have calculated. So for this circuit, choose a resistor of 0.047 W × 2 = 0.094 W = 94 mW. Rated power of the resistor (the value is doubled) = 0.094 W = (94 mW)

Good to know:

• It's too hard to find the exact power-rated resistors you calculated. Resistors generally come in 1/4 watt, 1/2 watt, 1 watt, 2 watt, 5 watt, etc. Therefore, choose the next highest power rating. For example, if the calculated value of the resistor's power rating is 0.789 W = 789 mW, you would select a 1 W resistor.
• It's too hard to get the exact value of the resistors you calculated. In general, resistors are supplied in standard values. If you can't find the exact value of a resistor you calculated, select the value closest to the resistor you calculated. For example, if the calculated value is 313.5 Ω, you would use the closest standard value, which is 330 Ω. If the closest values ​​are not close enough, you can achieve this by connecting resistors in a series - parallel configuration.
• IF= direct current of the LED:This is the maximum current that an LED can draw continuously. For long life and stability, it is recommended to provide 80% of the forward current of the LED. For example, if the LED's current rating is 30mA, you should drive that LED at 24mA. A current value that exceeds this value will shorten the life of the LED or it may start to smoke and burn.
• If you still can't find the forward current of the LED, assume it is 20mA, since typical LEDs run at 20mA.
• VF= forward voltage of the LED:This is the forward voltage of the LED, i.e. h the voltage drop when we supply the rated forward current. You can find this data on LED packages, but it varies between 1.3V and 3.5V depending on type, color, and brightness. If you still can't find the forward voltage, just connect the LED above 200Ω with a 6V battery. Now measure the voltage across the LED. It is 2V and this is the forward voltage.

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### Find the value of a resistor for series connection with LED

Another simple LED circuit (LEDs connected in series) is shown below. In this circuit we connect 6 LEDs in series. The supply voltage is 18 V, the forward voltage (VF)of the LEDs is 2V and the direct current (IF)is 20mA each.

Formula:

Resistance value for LEDs in series= (VDelivery– (VF× number of LEDs))÷IF

(Video) How To Select The Resistor Value In a LED Circuit Using Ohm's Law

Click to enlarge the image

Example:

In the LED series circuit above, the total forward voltage (VF) de 6 LED = 2 × 6 = 12V

and direct current (IF) is equal (i.e. 20 mA)

(Use: This is a series circuit, so the current in the series circuit is the same at all points, while the voltages are additive.)The value of the resistor (for the series connection) would now be:

= (VDelivery– (VF× Number of LEDs)) ÷ IF = (18 – (2 × 6)) ÷ 20mA

= (18 – 12) ÷20 mA =300Oh

Total current consumption = 20mA

(This is a series circuit, so the currents are equal)resistance classification

= yoF2× resistance value= (20mA)2× 300 Ω = 0.12 = 120 mW

ButThis is the minimum resistor value required to ensure that the resistor will not blow. In this way, it is recommended to double the rated power of the calculated resistor. So for this circuit, choose a resistor of 0.12 W × 2 = 0.24 W = 240 mW.Rated power of the resistor (the value is doubled) = 0.24 W = (240 mW).

### Find the value of a common resistor to connect LEDs in parallel

Click to enlarge the image

In this circuit we connect LEDs in parallel with a common resistor. The supply voltage is 18 V, the forward voltage (VF) of the LEDs is 2 V and the forward current (IF) is 20 mA each.

(Video) LED Resistor Calculation

Formula:

Common resistor value for LEDs connected in parallel=(VDelivery– V.F) ÷ (yoF× number of LED)

Example:

Here the total forward current (IF) of 4 LEDs = 20 mA × 4 = 0.08 A and forward voltage (VF) is equal (ie 2V)

(Use:This is a parallel circuit, i. h the voltage is the same at all points, while the currents add.

The value of the resistance (for a parallel circuit with a common resistance) would now be:

= (Vdelivery– V.F)÷(IF× number of LED)

= (18 – 2)÷0,08

=200Oh

Total current draw = 20mA × 4 = 80mA

(This is a parallel circuit, so the currents add up)

Resistance Rating = IF2× resistance value = (20mA)2× 200 Ω = 0,08 W = 80 mW

As previously,This is the lowest required resistor value that will not overheat or explode. Therefore, it is recommended to double the power rating of the calculated resistor. So choose a 1.28 W × 2 = 2.56 W resistor for this circuit. Resistor power rating (value is doubled) = 2.56 W (280 mW).

### Find the value of a separate resistor for parallel connection with LED

Click to enlarge the image

(Video) How to Calculate the Correct Resistor for LEDs Light Emitting Diodes

This is another way to connect LEDs in parallel with separate resistors. In this circuit we have connected 4 LEDs in parallel with separate resistors. The supply voltage is 9V and the forward voltage (VF) of the LEDs is 2 V and the forward current (IF) is 20 mA each.

Formula:

Separate resistor value for LEDs connected in parallel=(VDelivery– V.F) ÷ yoF

Example:

In this case, the total forward voltage (VF) of LED = 2 and direct current (IF) 20mA (also 20mA)

(Use:This is a parallel circuit, but we are finding the resistance value for each section, not the entire circuit. Therefore, in each section, the circuit is in series connection (see formula for series connection or 1callesimple circuit above, you will find that these are the same)

The resistor value (for parallel connection with separate resistors) would now be:

= (VDelivery– V.F)/ IF= (9 – 2)÷20mA = 350 Ω

Total current draw = 20mA × 4 = 80mA (This is a parallel circuit, so the currents add up)

Resistance Rating = IF2× resistance value = (20mA)2× 350Ω = 0.14 =140 mW

same as abovescenarios, the calculated value of the resistor is theMinimum value required for a safe connection in the LED circuit. To be safe, it's a good idea to double the power rating of the calculated resistor. So for this circuit, choose a resistor of 0.14 W × 2 = 0.28 W = 280 mW. Rated power of the resistor (the value is doubled) = 0.28 W (280 mW).

There is another way to connect LEDs to batteries in a series and parallel combination and yes, you will also need a suitable resistor or resistors for this purpose. But if you understand this simple calculation based tutorial, I'm sure you can easily determine the value of resistors also for LED connections and circuits based on a series-parallel combination.

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(Video) How to Calculate Resistance Required for LED

## FAQs

### How to calculate resistor value for LED circuits? ›

To calculate the resistor values needed to protect the LED, use Ohm's Law. Your essential Ohm's Law equation V=IxR is used to calculate the resistor value you'll need in the circuit.

What value of resistor should I use for LED? ›

The resistor must have a value of at least 183.3 Ω. Note that the voltage drop across the resistor is 5.5 V.

How to calculate current-limiting resistor values for LED circuits? ›

This feature requires two resistors — one fixed (Rf) and one variable (Rv). Rf limits the current when Rv is at its minimum setting — usually 0Ω — which allows maximum current to flow through the LED. The value of Rf is calculated when Rv = 0: where Iled(max) is the maximum current you want through the LED.

How do you calculate the value of a resistor in a circuit? ›

If you know the total current and the voltage across the whole circuit, you can find the total resistance using Ohm's Law: R = V / I. For example, a parallel circuit has a voltage of 9 volts and total current of 3 amps. The total resistance RT = 9 volts / 3 amps = 3 Ω.

What is the formula used for calculating the current-limiting resistor value in an LED circuit connected to an Arduino's digital output? ›

Now to calculate the current-limiting resistor, just do this: Vdd=Vfb+Vr, where Vr is the voltage dropped on the current-limiting resistor. So Vr=i_m*R.

Is 220 ohm resistor enough for LED? ›

The 220 Ohm resistor is one of the most common ones that hobbyists will come across, because it is often used with LEDs. Without a 220 Ohm resistor, simple LEDs would consume too much current and quickly burn out. We are using the resistor to limit the current that the LED can use.

Do you need 1 resistor per LED? ›

The point here is that you generally don't want to use only one current-limiting resistor because you can't ensure that the LEDs will equally share current; furthermore, it is possible that one LED will get much more current than the others.

How do you know how much current a resistor can handle? ›

A resistor's power rating can usually be deduced by observing its package size. Standard through-hole resistors usually come with ¼W or ½W ratings. More special purpose, power resistors might actually list their power rating on the resistor. These power resistors can handle a lot more power before they blow.

How do you calculate current draw on LED lights? ›

You only need to know the bulb's wattage and the voltage; from there, you can divide to get the number of amps. For example, if you have an 8-watt LED light bulb running on a 120-volt electrical system, the amperage draw would be 8 watts divided by 120 volts which equals 0.0667 amps or approximately 2/3 of an amp.

What is the formula for resistance value? ›

A resistance value of an unknown resistor is calculated using the formula R=dIV whereV and I be the readings of the voltmeter and the ammeter respectively.

### How do you calculate resistor ohms? ›

The full forumal is E = I x R where E = Volts, I=current (in amps), and R=resistance. This is also sometimes annoted as voltage = current x resistance, or volts = amps x ohms, or V = A x Ω.

What is a current limiting resistor for an LED? ›

A current limiting resistor is a resistor connected in series to a circuit for protection against excessive burning in the appliance. It operates on the principle of reducing current by increasing the overall load resistance. Most electronic components have a limit on the maximum current they can handle.

Why do you need 330 ohm resistor for the LED? ›

A 330 Ohm resistor acts as a voltage divider. When the LDR changes changed resistance, the 330 Ohm resistor ensures that an appropriate voltage is passed down to the LED. Without it too much current would flow into the LED, causing it to run too bright or hot and shorten its service life.

What is the value of resistor for LED to 220V? ›

Required components for this 220V LED circuit:

560-ohm 1-watt resistor. 1M 0.25-watt resistor.

Can I use 1K ohm resistor for LED? ›

SIMPLE & BEST ANSWER: Use 1K (1000 ohm) 1/4W resistor for any LED.

Is it better to wire LEDs in series or parallel? ›

Is one better than the other… Series, Parallel, or Series/Parallel? The requirements of a lighting application often dictate what type of circuit can be used, but if given the choice, the most efficient way to run high power LEDs is using a series circuit with a constant current LED driver.

Where do you put a resistor in a LED circuit? ›

Since this resistor is only being used to limit current through the circuit, it can actually be located on either side of the LED. Placing the resistor on the positive (anode) side of the resistor will have no differing effects from placing the resistor on the negative (cathode) side of the LED.

What is the maximum power a resistor can handle? ›

Generally, the maximum working voltage is 1.5 times the resistor's power rating. For example, if a resistor has a power rating of 2 watts, the maximum working voltage should be 3 volts.

Do resistors limit current or voltage? ›

“Resistors do just what their name says; they resist. You can use them to limit either current or voltage, depending upon whether they are wired in series (one after the other), or parallel (sharing the same connection points, side-by-side,” StackExchange explains.

How much current does a 12V LED light draw? ›

In electrical terms, we now know that at 12V, this LED strip will draw about 24 Watts per reel (5 meters), or about 2.0 Amps.

### How do you calculate the Ampere of a LED strip? ›

How to calculate the length of LED tape a power supply can run
1. Wattage of power supply ÷ Wattage of LED strip = Total metres you can run off that strip.
2. Amps x voltage = wattage.
3. Wattage ÷ voltage = amps.

How many amps does a 50 inch LED light bar draw? ›

50" Bar comes with 12" of flood reflectors on the outsides of the light and 26" of spot reflectors on the inside half of the light. This will optimize both functional light spread and light distance for increased visability. General Specs. Watts 195 Amp Draw 14.44 Lumens 18000 # of LEDs 100.

Why use 330 ohm resistor for LED? ›

A 330 Ohm resistor acts as a voltage divider. When the LDR changes changed resistance, the 330 Ohm resistor ensures that an appropriate voltage is passed down to the LED. Without it too much current would flow into the LED, causing it to run too bright or hot and shorten its service life.

What happens if you use a higher resistor with an LED? ›

If you use more than that, the current in the circuit is decreased and you get less light. If you use a resistor that is a little bit less than 365 ohm (i.e. 330 ohm), The light will be brighter but there is a possibility that the LED will wear out.

What resistor do I need for 3.7 V LED? ›

The Formula

= (3.7 - 3.3)/100 = 0.4/0.1 = 4 ohms. The required wattage would be 0.4 x 0.1 = 0.04W, so a 1/4 watt resistor would be more than enough.

Can I use 1K resistor for LED? ›

SIMPLE & BEST ANSWER: Use 1K (1000 ohm) 1/4W resistor for any LED.

How do you size a resistor for an LED? ›

LEDs typically require 10 to 20mA, the datasheet for the LED will detail this along with the forward voltage drop. For example an ultra bright blue LED with a 9V battery has a forward voltage of 3.2V and typical current of 20mA. So the resistor needs to be 290 ohms or as close as is available.

How many Ohms is a 330 resistor? ›

A 330 ohm resistor with a 20% tolerance will be between 264 and 394 ohms.

Can multiple LEDs use the same resistor? ›

You can connect multiple Leds in parallel with a single resistor. However, the equation becomes slightly complicated as you must consider the entire diode's forward current. Additionally, you should ensure your diodes' forward voltage requirement is matching.

Does it matter where the resistor goes in a LED circuit? ›

It doesn't matter! The resistor can go before – or after – the LED, and it will still protect it. the current that flows out of a battery is always equal to the current that flows back into the battery.

### What size resistor for an LED at 5 volts? ›

Basics: Picking Resistors for LEDs
Power Supply VoltageLED ColorResistor (rounded)
5 VRed, Yellow, or Yellow-Green150 Ω
5 VRed, Yellow, or Yellow-Green56 Ω
9 VRed, Yellow, or Yellow-Green75 Ω
9 VBlue, Green, White, or UV100 Ω
4 more rows
Aug 29, 2012

What is a 100K ohm resistor used for? ›

A 100K resistor is often used in a variety of electronic circuits, such as in voltage dividers, current limiting circuits, and as pull-up or pull-down resistors in digital circuits. It is important to choose the correct value of resistor for a specific application to ensure that the circuit functions as intended.

How do you calculate current in LED? ›

To calculate an LED's power use, simply multiply the LED's voltage (in volts) by the LED's current (in amperes). The result, measured in watts, is the amount of power your LEDs use. For example, if your LED has a voltage of 3.6 and a current of 20 milliamperes, it will use 72 milliwatts of power.

Is 10K resistor good for LED? ›

If your LED fixtures or bulbs have issues with turning off all the way or flickering at specific dim levels, use the PCS 10K Load Resistor for LED Lighting to solve this problem.

What happens if resistor is too high? ›

In extreme cases the excessive power can even melt or catch on fire. One cause of failure in many applications is temporary exposure to unexpectedly high current peak, or short but severe overload (STOL).

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