I am trying to make a LED strip light controlled by wemos D1 mini with N-MOSFET. I have a working circuit but the led strip is not completely turned off when the wemos pin is low and I do not fully understand why.

Should I try to increase the pull down resistor value from 10k or is the circuit wrong?

I use IRLML2502 (specs) which can switch on 3.3V. Is it a good choice?

Another question is, is this going to sustain working let's say for 10h/daily without heatsink and frying?

Circuit note - 3.3V is the wemos pin.


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab


Readings on the voltmeter says:

  • ESP pin off state - 0.0V
  • R2 off state - 4.5V

I see where the power is coming from. I removed the R2 and all is working now. Why would R2 be needed there? M1 is charged off immediately anyway.

When the R2 is in the circuit

LEDs in mosfet off state are clearly visibly illuminated in lighted up room. All pictures are same camera settings - a bit underexposed. (From left - powered off, mosfet off, full brightness) LEDs in power off, mosfet off and full brightness

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ When the ESP is commanding "off" measure the voltage at the ESP pin, the voltage across R2, and the drain vs source of M1. How bright are the LEDs in this state? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 30, 2020 at 19:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I've added in a redrawn schematic for you. Note that now signal flow is from left to right and current flows from top to bottom. This is the convention. You can edit and delete either version of the schematic as you see fit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    Sep 30, 2020 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Transistor thank you for editing. I accepted your drawing. \$\endgroup\$
    – GTessa
    Sep 30, 2020 at 20:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisStratton I will measure voltage tomorrow and will write it here. LEDs are about one third/fourth of the brightness. I will attach picture also. \$\endgroup\$
    – GTessa
    Sep 30, 2020 at 20:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @chrisstratton thank you, I measured those voltages and found out the resistor R2 was problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – GTessa
    Oct 1, 2020 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


I think what's happening is that the MOSFET is not completely turning off, working in weak inversion mode. You could try a stronger pull down - 1k instead of 10k. However, you would need to replace the 1 K with 100ohms to maintain the ratio. You could also try making this a high side driver.

I also notice you don't have a current set resistor for the LEDs, you may want to add one to improve the life span of the LED string.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hdc: The LED strings have current limiting resistors visible in the photos. \$\endgroup\$
    – JRE
    May 5, 2021 at 10:29

It's the off state current of the mosfet 1uA. Put 10K resistor across the LED.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I doubt it. The OP says they are "one third/fourth" of the normal brightness. One microamp would give a faint glow you could only see in a darkened room. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 30, 2020 at 22:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Elliot Alderson He had the lights on in the room when the LEDs are on, and the room darkened when the LEDs are turned off. \$\endgroup\$
    – Moty
    Sep 30, 2020 at 23:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I guess I lack your ability to read the mind of the OP. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 30, 2020 at 23:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm even more impressed with your ability to read his mind, you know exactly what "one third/fourth" means. Look at the specs, at 70 c the current is 25uA, maybe he lives in Florida. \$\endgroup\$
    – Moty
    Oct 1, 2020 at 1:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Moty I attached pictures with how bright are LEDs. Anyway I think I solved it by removing R2 which seemed to allow 4.5V to flow to LEDs. \$\endgroup\$
    – GTessa
    Oct 1, 2020 at 7:50

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