Tag: Mean Well (page 1 of 2)

The LEDG Guide to Mean Well HLG Drivers: Part 2 – Constant Voltage & Parallel Wiring

Part 2 of this series examines constant voltage models and parallel wiring, as well as thermal runaway and series-parallel wiring.

The LEDG Guide to Mean Well HLG Drivers: Part 1 – Constant Current & Series Wiring

The Mean Well HLG line is the undisputed king of drivers in the DIY LED grow light world. The goal for this series of videos is to provide a complete breakdown of everything you need to know about them, whether you’re totally new to DIY LED, or a seasoned vet. We’ll be covering:

  • Constant current vs. constant voltage and the pros and cons of each
  • Series and parallel wiring, and when you might need to use each type
  • A-type vs. B-type drivers and some considerations you’ll need to make when picking between them
  • Dimming single and multiple drivers
  • Reading the data sheets and applying the important specifications
  • Matching any LED to a CC and CV driver

Part 1 of this series provides an overview on the different types of drivers within the HLG line and focuses on constant current models and series wiring.

Mean Well HLG Driver Spreadsheets

Hi all,

It can be a pain in the ass having to sort through a bunch of data sheets to find what you’re looking for, so I’ve compiled all the relevant specs for Mean Well Constant Current and Constant Voltage HLG series drivers into a couple spread sheets. I’ve also pulled data from their test reports – you’ll see info from the specification sheet marked “SPEC” and then info from Mean Well’s testing, marked “REPORT”. You’ll notice that usually these drivers are capable of doing a little more than they’re rated for, however this is often for the “A” type driver, on which you are able to adjust the voltage or current higher than you can on the “B” type.

 

Here is the constant current sheet.

 

Here is the constant voltage sheet.

Parallel Strip Build Tool

Since a lot of people have been looking for help on their strip builds, I figured it’d probably be helpful to have a calculator just for this. Now that we’re seeing more and more of these systems being built, it has become apparent that running all strips in parallel is the way to go – it’s expandable, the math is easier for large numbers of strips, and wiring is less confusing, so I’m only doing this for parallel builds. Check out the parallel strip build tool below!

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Exceeding Voltage Range on Constant Current Drivers

This is a subject I touched on in an earlier video  where I tried to run about 175 volts worth of LED (5 COBs) off of a driver only rated for 143 volts max. The result in that test was that the driver maintained its full voltage (~143v), but put out next to nothing for current. What I set out to test this time was what would happen if you were trying to pull just a handful of volts more than the driver was rated for, as opposed to trying to pull 30+ more than rated. By adding resistors in series with my 4 COB lights, I was able to slowly increase the voltage drop of my circuit to meet and exceed the max rating of my driver and see how it reacted.

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What Happens When Your Total Voltage Drop is Outside of Your Driver’s Constant Current Region?

In this video, we’ll have a look at what happens when the sum of your COB voltage drop in a circuit is below the minimum constant current region voltage of your driver, as well as what happens when it’s above the maximum constant current region voltage of your driver.

COB LED Constant Voltage Driver Selection Tool

I’ve had a number of requests to put up a constant voltage version of my COB LED Driver Selection Tool so I drafted one up today. Please see the notes at the bottom of this post for some important additional info. Also, if you’d like to see any COBs added, let me know which ones and I’ll see if I can include them.

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How to Choose the Right Constant Voltage Driver for Your COBs

Constant voltage drivers are becoming more popular lately. They’re safer, flexible, and often cheaper than their constant current counterparts, but it can be a little more difficult to pick the right CV driver for your system than it would be for a CC build. Don’t sweat though, it’s really not very hard. All you need is an understanding of how parallel wiring works and to know how to manipulate forward voltage and current numbers using data sheets or product simulators.

Below are the steps to take to find a suitable constant voltage driver. Continue reading

Constant Voltage Thermal Runaway Test #2 – High Current

In my previous test, I ran a couple of Vero 18 COBs at their typical rated current to see if I could get either of them to go into thermal runaway. Over the 4 hours I tested them, each of the COBs ended up pulling an additional ~50mA each than what they started at, but stabilized at this level. Curious to see if I could get one of my COBs to go thermal, I decided to take another stab at this and hit a couple different chips with considerably higher currents than they’d normally be run at.

Here are my results:

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Constant Voltage Thermal Runaway Test

After playing with my new HLG-100H-36A constant voltage driver for awhile, I conducted a little experiment this weekend to see if I could get either of my Vero 18 COBs to go into thermal runaway. Thermal runaway can happen in constant voltage systems where the current is allowed to vary, while the voltage is held steady. As the COB LEDs heat up, their properties change, and this causes them to draw more current, thereby heating them up further and drawing even more current. Eventually, the LED can destroy itself due to this cycle of drawing more current and heating.

Quite often, you’ll see recommendations to add a resistor in series with your LED if you’re using a constant voltage driver. I wanted to see if I could get away with skipping these resistors and simply running my COBs hooked up directly to the driver.

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