The Light Emitting Diode, Voltage & Circuits

Jan 27, 2017
Light emitting diodes come in many sizes and colors, and voltage requirements vary. The LEDs GCS uses range from 2 volts to 3.5 volts. By adding the voltage of each LED used together in a circuit, you can determine the amount of volts needed from the power supply.

When LEDs are daisy-chained together, it's said to be a Series Circuit. This circuit is efficient, in that it lights each LED at full brightness, provided the combined voltage of your LEDs don't exceed the output voltage of the power supply; in which case the LEDs will not light. The wiring is also very simple. The drawback is that when an LED burns out, or if there is bad solder joint - the circuit is broken. Still, it is the best method to light projects using LEDs as they light evenly, seldom burn out, and trouble shooting the circuit is relatively easy.

GCS lighting kits utilize the series circuit almost exclusively.

The Parallel Circuit allows you to connect all positive leads together and all negative leads together. If a circuit connected to an LED is broke or if an LED burns out, the others continue to light. The drawback is that the combined LEDs pull-down the voltage resulting in brightness drop. This might be a good thing if you want your lighting to be a lower brightness but you might find that connecting our lighting controller is a better solution.

Note: Remember, always place a resistor in front of all LED circuits.

See FAQ for more on LED lighting

GCS produces LED lighting kits for multi-purpose use, ideal for any hobby project.