How do I set up a Meanwell CV/CC driver for my Bridgelux array?

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FlashPilot
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How do I set up a Meanwell CV/CC driver for my Bridgelux array?

I got a great deal on some 97 CRI 100 watt Bridgelux RS emitters that have less than an hour of total run time on them. The owner changed his mind and wanted a cooler tint, so I thought Id give his old ones a try.

They are BXRA-30H7000-J

From the data sheet
Specs: 3000K, 97 CRI, 2800mA, 5350 Flux, 29.4 vF.

Since I will have plenty to chose from, I was considering matching vF for 3 of the emitters and running them in parallel on a huge sink. I bought several of the MEANWELL CLG-150-36A 150W PSU/drivers and thought Id use a single driver for this project. Looking at the last page of the driver data sheet, it looks like these drivers are both constant current and constant voltage LED drivers.

The driver has separate trim pots for current and voltage. Can someone please advise me how to set up the voltage and the current?

  • I’ll test each emitter separately to determine their vF and select 3 with the closest match.
  • Im going to initially try with 3 emitters in parallel.
  • 3 emitters in parallel should easily be able to take full amps from the driver (4.2A rated, although it will likely be capable of producing closer to 5A)
  • From the Bridgelux data sheet, @1750mA vF=27.9V.
  • I tested the driver and it puts out 27.05V unloaded at the minimal setting… so it looks like Im just within the range and below vF.
  • I have a pair of decent DMM’s to measure voltage and amps.

Im not sure how to best dial in the voltage. Starting with pots to the lowest setting, should I slowly bring amps to max and then start feeding in the voltage, but not exceed 27.9? Then if I have voltage sag, readjust back up to 27.9V? Let it warm up and observe/adjust voltage if necessary? Id guess these drivers lock in what you set them at and dont allow voltage/amp creep as the emitters and driver heat up. Also monitor vF and swap emitters if necessary to keep them balanced? I realize that these would best be ran in series, but Id like to make use of what I have sitting on the shelf.

Edited by: FlashPilot on 07/21/2014 - 15:50
FlashPilot
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Just in case…

texaspyro
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Set the voltage level a little above the LED Vf (at operating temperature). Set the current pot to what you want to run them at.

FlashPilot
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Thanks TP. So set the voltage slightly above vF @operating temp, and then adjust current. How much higher should the voltage be than vF?

Do you know how much more voltage I can get away with?

For instance,

  • 1750mA vF=27.9V
  • 2800mA, vF=29.4V

What would happen if I powered them at 1750mA @29.4V? Smoke or safe?

texaspyro
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The way these usually work is the voltage setting sets the max voltage it will output. The current setting sets the max current. Whatever limit the supply sees is what it will run at.

You want the current to be the controlling variable. Setting the voltage higher than what the LED wants means that the current setting will kick in first. If you set the voltage too low, you won’t get full current to the LED. You could set the voltage way higher than the LED Vf as long as the current is set properly. Setting the voltage a little higher than the LED Vf provides some protection against faults.

FlashPilot
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Thank you. Your explanation makes perfect sense to me for one emitter (in my case). But since the driver is incapable of providing a destructive amount of current to the array (3 emitters in parallel), how much voltage above vF at operating temp could I safety run without damaging the emitters?

It looks like I can crank the current pot to max, but Im note sure where the voltage should be set. Sorry if I missed your point.

texaspyro
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As long as the voltage setting is above the LED Vf you should be OK. Look at the LED data sheet and see what voltage would cause too much current for the LEDs and set it there.

LEDs have quite a bit of variance in their V-I curves and the slope is rather steep, so a little change in voltage/temperature can cause a lot of change in current… that is why current limited drivers are used.

FlashPilot
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Thanks TP, this PSU appears to be strictly a CC driver when wired to the emitter. The voltage adjustment pot does absolutely nothing and has no effect on voltage or amperage. I tested it full range several times to make sure. When its not connected to an emitter it works, but when connected it does nothing. The Amp adjustment pot works well and locks in the set current and holds it there precisely. As expected, the voltage drops as the emitter heats up and the current remains constant.

To summarize setting up this particular driver:

Use the current pot to set emitter output. The voltage pot adjustment does nothing, at least with my applications. I have 15 of these drivers and tested several just to make sure. They are also genuine Meanwell, not some cheap chinese knockoff.

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I just mounted one of the emitters to a 20 pound AL heat sink and wired it to the PSU. All I can say is WOW! :bigsmile: These things are bright! :bigsmile: Im running at 3.75A for 7140 lumens, which is 100% rated output and 102 watts being consumed by the psu. Power factor was measured at .97, so these PSU’s are super efficient. A quick glance around the room quickly shows the value of 97 CRI and 3000 K… simply gorgeous light when the entire living room is richly bathed in it.

ImA4Wheelr
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Cool, sounds real nice.  Those warm Bridgelux emitters should do put out gorgeous light.  I've only used the 9 volt versions.  2 in series can be driven nicely by an 18 volt laptop power supply.  2 of those can light up a big room nicely.  Hard to picture how bright those 30 volt puppies are.

FlashPilot
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Do you have a bridgelux part number or a link for the ones you picked up? Are yours mounted and in use, or just for play? Fun stuff!! Its amazing how much light these suckers belt out, especially for for the wattage.

ImA4Wheelr
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I'm guessing I bought them a couple years ago (maybe more).  I think I bought them from Digikey, but searching their site revealed nothing that seems to match.  The closest I can find is something like this.   If I recall correctly (probably not), they are only like 80cri (not 97 like yours).

I have two mounted in parking lights enclosures that I use as axillary headlights in one of my cars.  I don't use them in traffic.  Used old heat sinks extracted from old computer supplies to mount them on. I used simple linear regulators that have 3 Vdo to reduce the amount of voltage they have to burn up.  Still get pretty hot though.  Actually need more heat sinking than the emitters.

I only played with them in the house, but haven't yet decided how I want to implement them.  I kind of like the idea of using wall sconces to keep the heat away from the wall.  Light aimed up to the ceiling for indirect lighting.  

I just keep putting flashlight projects ahead of home lighting.

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Ive considered an LED DRL conversion but have been afraid to melt the plastic housings during a hot day. If I was cognizant of them (as you are) I’d put them on a switch and use them only while moving… but Im sure Id eventually forget and suffer an expensive plastic melt-down. I have several heat sinks to chose from, but they would all eventually need air flow while stationary.

The indirect lighting approach with the bridgelux seems to be the best one so far. I have the test bed on a table with the emitter pointed up at the ceiling and it lights the entire room in bright light with smooth transitions. I have 12 foot ceilings in the garage, so I might try the emitters with ledil flood reflectors to see if that cuts the glare and makes them more useful.

Ledil makes several asymmetrical reflectors that would be excellent for wall sonace mounts.

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I dialed the PSU back to 2.80A to the emitter for 5350 lumens (75% rated power). Recording an hour on my kill-o-watt meter yielded 0.07 kWh. Multiplying that by the kWh charge on my electric bill yields a cost of 0.00506 per hour to run. So an 8 hour run would cost 4 cents, or about $14.78/year @8 hrs per night.

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In case anyone is still interested… while running 2 emitters wired in parallel with the Meanwell cranked up to 100% netted the following results:

117W to power the PSU
4.33A into both emitters
1 hour run recorded 0.11 kWh
2 hour run recorded 0.22 kWh.

.11 × $0.072355 per kWh = $0.00795905… so about 0.06 cents per 8 hours x 365 = $23.24/year

A very substantial 20 pound aluminum passive heat sink stabilized at 104 degrees F after 3 hours of continuous operation and vF was measured:

Left emitter = 22.72V Right emitter = 22.69V

A .03V vF variance is very impressive for a parallel setup of this type. I havent had a chance to test the remaining emitters to see if I can vF match a few more pairs, but I doubt there will be any problems.

To my eyes, 2 emitters produces A LOT more light at 4.33A (2.17A per emitter) than a single emitter at 3.75A (emitter max rating). I might break out the lux meter later and record a few ceiling bounce tests to measure the differences. Ultra high CRI warm is the only way to go for wide area lighting and I couldnt have been more impressed. :bigsmile:

My 200 watt metal halide outdoor fixture took a dump last year. When I turn it on, the bulb flashes for a fraction of a second and the transformer only hums. It might be time to try an LED conversion. Now if I can just find a cheap 80-120mm 120 VAC fan.

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I probably wont chance it, but I wonder how one of these arrays would take to dedoming and if it would all come off if soaked in gas, naptha, acetone, xylene or MEK? Its hard to tell exactly but all the phosphor appears to be contained within the dome material and not coated over each LED. It would be an expensive mistake if it wasnt successful but it would be cool to have a high powered blue/purple flood light. Any thoughts?

Has anyone tried to dedome a bridgelux brand array yet?

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Just a quick update:

Ive been running one of these emitters @100 watts while mounted to a fan cooled CPU heat sink for several months and with no signs of deterioration. These emitters are designed for commercial applications and should run for several years. Now that the emitter is broken in, Im observing a 100% power factor efficiency while measured through my kill-o-watt meter. The marriage of the high quality Meanwell cc driver + the bridgelux RS emitter are an impressive combo of efficiency and true 97 CRI lighting.

leaftye
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I'd be interested in knowing what the lux is under and around that.

The low mode should be lower.

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My light meter is at the airport and I’ll try to remember to grab it the next time I swing by. When the bridgelux is powered on, a btu shocker on turbo added to the ceiling bounce is hardly noticeable, but it does detract from the gorgeous 97 CRI.

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What an excellent photography light source this could make! Equivalent to what, 400watts in tungsten but with a better tint and higher CRI? Awesome! Could it be run with a potentiometer to dial down total output as desired? Or even a Leviton wall switch with rotary control?

Probably over my head, but interesting as all get out!

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You truly have to witness the light quality to appreciate it. I dont know that I could put into words in how blow away I am every time I turn it on. The drivers are large chunky metal boxes designed for sustained commercial applications in wet locations. Ive researched this line of meanwell drivers and couldnt find a mod thread where anyone ever attempted to remove the internal pot and wire an external one in its place. I removed the metal covers and the entire driver cavity is encapsulated in a heavy potting compound similar to dried latex silicon. I could probably take an exacto blade to it and carve a nice neat channel to expose the pot and then go from there. Access would be on the top of the PCB so I couldnt desolder it from the under side. Id have to attempt a removal from the top side, which might or might not be an easy proposition. If I destroyed the pot during the removal process, I wouldnt be able to measure it with a dmm to find its rating. Its just one of those things where I have come to appreciate the comforts of high levels of quality light without shadows, and while bathing everything in brilliant light. I can just see everything a whole lot better and with greater clairty. So Im not sure that Id turn the light down even if I had that as a remote feature. Also, the driver can deliver more power than is recommended (which is 100W max sustained at the emitter) so a pot mod would have to have a corresponding set limit… not sure how to pull that one off without resistors inline. Maybe there is a pot with adjustable limits.

These type of drivers cant be dimmed by a dimmer switch. Wouldnt that be nice if they could?

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My only thought for dimming is taking portrait pictures, people can be sensitive to bright light and squint and then get attitudal which doesn’t make for the best portraits. I could always diffuse it, bounce it, whatever.

That sounds like such an excellent set-up, with it being sealed it’d work great for outdoor shoots without worry. Did you say how many lumens you think it’s making? 7000-9000?

I have been thinking of using a commercial 2’×4’ fluorescent bay with daylight white tubes, special tubes designed for the workplace. But I’m just about positive they wouldn’t work well for photography. This set up of yours sounds ideal, and so perfect for product shots as to be droolworthy. Love

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Im running at 3.75A which produces 7140 lumens (according to the datasheet), which is 100% rated output. I measured 102 watts being consumed by the driver. Now that the emitter is broken in, Im observing a 100% power factor efficiency while measured through my kill-o-watt meter. Im running mine without any type of reflector on a night stand mounted to a high performance CPU heat sink and fan. Its pointed up at the ceiling and bounces the light through the room. Ive been thinking about concealing the rig in a small wooden box with cooling ports for the fan and adding a ledil flood reflector with lens designed for this emitter. The fan would cool the heat sink first and then the passing air would be channeled over the driver before it exits the box.

The driver is adjustable by pulling out a plug on the front of the driver and inserting a screwdriver to twist a pot. The pot feels high quality and tight, but I wouldnt want to be tweaking it all the time since they probably werent designed to be used as dimmers.

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Your definitely beating me right now…

Awesome project, somewere around here (or maybe in storage) I have a vero18 I need to come up with a driver for but I really don’t want to use one of those cheap chineese/eBay ones.

 RIP  SPC Joey Riley, KIA 11/24/14. Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.

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Cereal_killer wrote:
Your definitely beating me right now…

Awesome project, somewere around here (or maybe in storage) I have a vero18 I need to come up with a driver for but I really don’t want to use one of those cheap chineese/eBay ones.

You’re going to have a lot of fun with your emitter after you find a driver and heat sinking solution. My emitters are $75 a piece, so I avoided the cheap drivers because they are often unreliable, dont provide a consistent constant current, especially as they age, warm up or power cycle. They can also provide dirty power, spikes, ripple and be rather inefficient. Although it has other uses, the Meanwell driver I am using was designed specifically as a commercial duty CC LED driver. My kill-o-watt meter is now showing a 100% efficiency conversion on the driver as well. :bigsmile:

Just be aware that there are many fake Meanwell PSU’s on ebay, so chose wisely.

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Very interesting! $75 is a lot of money for a 100 watts LED! Is this the price you paid or the retail price?
You should do a comparison with the 100W emitters that can be bought on ebay. I’m sure people would then realize how much better the high CRI LEDs are…

My English isn’t perfect but I’m trying to improve it. If you see something that doesn’t sound right or is just plain wrong, please feel free to point it out! Smile

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lagman wrote:
Very interesting! $75 is a lot of money for a 100 watts LED! Is this the price you paid or the retail price? You should do a comparison with the 100W emitters that can be bought on ebay. I’m sure people would then realize how much better the high CRI LEDs are…

I thought about it but then decided against it after reading dozens of angry customer complaints. Those Chinese ebay emitters are pure junk that burn out quickly, have lousy CRI and arent even worth the envelope they arrive in. Many of them even advertise themselves as Bridgelux… more Chinese lies. Big Smile

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You lucky bastard! You got not only 1 but 11 of those nice emitters! Shocked

You can get a version of your PSU with external dimming, the model number has to end in “B” instead of “A”.
And you are right – the internal pot is not meant for dimming usage, I think only a few (<20) adjustments are supported. The datasheet:
http://www.meanwell.com/search/CLG-150/CLG-150-spec.pdf

By the way, PFC is not the conversion efficiency (AC->DC), it’s how good the PSU is “in sync” with the mains frequency, thus saving the energy supplier costs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_factor#Power_factor_correction_of_lin...
But the CLG series is nonetheless very efficient, about 90% starting at half the rated load up to full load (see the last data sheet page).

PS: Sorry to resurrect this thread, but it was linked by this one, and I couldn’t resist:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/37198

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Big Smile I was definitely at the right place at the right time to snag those emitters, but have only put one of them into service so far. I am familiar with the CLG and HLG series 0-10V/pot dimming functions these type of drivers accomodate and have also experimented with the associated 0-10V RF remote controllers in dimming other expensive luminaries. A 100K external pot can take the place in most instances, and Ive considered modding my “A” series Meanwell with such an external non-linear pot. But now that Ive been running mine at 100 watts, I find that I dont want to turn it down. lol

From Meanwell:

What is PFC?

Ans: PFC stands for Power Factor Correction. The purpose of PFC is to improve the ratio of apparent power and real power. The power factor is only 0.4~0.6 in non-PFC models. In PFC models, the power factor can reach above 0.95. The calculation formulas are as below: Apparent Power=Input Voltage x Input Current (VA) Real Power= Input Voltage x Input Current x Power Factor (W) From the environment friendly point, the electric power plant needs to generate a power which is higher than apparent power in order to steadily provide electricity to the market. The real usage of electricity should be defined by real power. Assuming the power factor is 0.5, the power plant needs to produce more than 2VA to satisfy 1W real power. On the contrary, if the power factor is 0.95, the power plant only needs to generate more than 1.06VA to provide 1W real power need. It will be more effective.
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Flash,

Would Bridgelux vero18 or vero29 with CRI97 be as good as those you have?

From what I could conclude, vero series should have “decor” rated products with CRI97.

Those you have, I couldn’t find anywhere to buy.

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vex_zg wrote:
Flash,

Would Bridgelux vero18 or vero29 with CRI97 be as good as those you have?

From what I could conclude, vero series should have “decor” rated products with CRI97.

Those you have, I couldn’t find anywhere to buy.

Sorry for the delay in answering you. The “decor” series datasheet has been down for some reason.

As far as CRI, yes. You’ll need to chose the color temperature (tint) that you prefer along with an appropriate driver and heat sinking solution.

My 100 watt versions were purchased through a large bulk special order and are unavailable otherwise. Let me know if you’re serious and I might consider selling one.