I have an LED that looks like:enter image description here

It did not come with specs for the LED. In laymens terms, I'm trying to determine the technical term for the following descriptions.

(What is the max amount of current that can flow through this type of LED before it becomes 'unsafe' and blows up) -- What is this term called?

(What is the minimum amount of current needed to flow through in order to emit any sort of light 'minimum light') -- What is this term called?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ you can slowly ramp up the current until the leads start heating up, then back down a touch. \$\endgroup\$ – dandavis Aug 9 '17 at 2:29

rated current is the current level used to determine the lifetime of the led and it's brightness, 20mA is fairly common for that style of LED.

fusion current is the amount of current that will cause immediate failure. For that type of led somewhere around 200mA but anything above the rated current will cause accelerated ageing. Exceeding the rated current is done at your own risk.

The minimum current before it will show light is forward leakage current.

With modern LEDs in a dark room fractions of a microampere will cause a perceptable glow. so forward leakage current is close enough to zero for most applications, and it is often not quoted on data sheets.

Another parameter lumens per miliampere will tell you how much current will get how much glow. often this is only given at one current level. eg "87 lm @ 20 mA" but this relationship is essentially linear.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.