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series Vs. Parallel


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  1. #1
    Corvette Reefer - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default series Vs. Parallel

    After seeing someone use a bucks puck on a parallel running 12 instead of 6 im confused...what are benefits from running either one.. i had my leds in parallel, when u run them like that u can have twice as many bulbs? my drivers for 12 bulbs in series so if i run parallel i could have 24?
    The names Vette, Corvette. . .

  2. #2
    2pairs - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Jim

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Corvette Reefer View Post
    After seeing someone use a bucks puck on a parallel running 12 instead of 6 im confused...what are benefits from running either one.. i had my leds in parallel, when u run them like that u can have twice as many bulbs? my drivers for 12 bulbs in series so if i run parallel i could have 24?
    yep it can be confusing, but with the driver you are using hopefully you were wired in series positive to negative and so on.
    If you were using a led that only could use 350MA then you could run two sets of 12. The sets of 12 are in series and you take the two positives together and the two negatives together and that would be parallel. This would be using the same voltage but would be using 700MA. That way you could run 24 off the same driver, BUT the 12 LED's you were using will give you more light than the ones that you could run 24 of.
    Now I am sure that you are even more confused, that is why it is better to just copy one of the DIY kits that are available. JMO

  3. #3
    Corvette Reefer - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    actually i understand that pretty good lol i get it
    The names Vette, Corvette. . .

  4. #4
    evilc66 - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    The reason that we typically run just in series is because of the potential problems that parallel wiring can cause.

    First off though, you must understand a few things. All parallel strings must be the same size, and ideally, the LED forward voltage must be matched to provide consistant results. Also, when wiring in parallel, the current is divided equaly between each parallel string. That means that on a 700mA driver, two parallel strings would see 350mA each.

    Now, the reason why parallel strings are not commonly used is because of the potential damage done when something fails. In a series string, if an LED fails, one of two things will happen. If the LED shorts, the remainder of the string stays lit, and keeps on going. If the LED fails open, the entire string goes down, but no other damage occurs.

    When you wire in parallel, a number of things can happen when an LED fails, some of them being more damaging than others. If for example, you had two parallel strings on a 2000mA driver (each string running at 1000mA) and a single LED fails open on one string, that entire string now shuts down, and the remaining string now sees the entire 2000mA from the driver, most likely killing the LEDs in a short amount of time.

    If an LED in the same setup were to fail closed (a short), the string that LED was in is now running at a lower total forward voltage, forcing the current per LED in in that string higher (remember, current and voltage are tied together, so when one increases, so does the other), and creating stress on all the LEDs in that string, creating more potential failures.

    If the total forward voltage of each string is different, then you can also get changes in brightness between the LEDs connected to the same driver.

    IMO, it's not worth the headaches, even though it could save some cash in setup costs.

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