LED Light Voltage Requirement: Find The Exact Voltage For Your LED!

The most popular LEDs require a forward operating voltage of around 1.3V-3.6V and the forward current rating of 10mA-30mA, while 12-20mA being the standard range. Forward current and operating voltage usually differ regarding the semiconductor material used by the manufacturer. However, conduction starts and light is generated; it’s around 1.2v for a regular red LED light and 3.6v for the blue one.

Similar to PN junction diodes, LEDs are currents that rely on devices whose forward voltage drop on the semiconductors compound, i.e., its light color plus the forward biased LED current. Usually, the voltage must rest on the manufacturer due to dissimilar dopant material plus wavelength used. And it drops over LED at a specific current value. For example, 20Ma rely on the primary conduction position. Since LED is constructively a diode, it can draw its forward currents to voltage features curve for each diode color.

Remember, you should never connect your LED straight to a power supply or battery because it will be destroyed instantly. This is due to too much current passing through that burns it out. Generally, in most scenarios, LEDs are driven from a low voltage DC supply, alongside a series of resistors, RS used to control the forward current to a shielded value.  For example, 5mA is needed for a straightforward LED indicator, and 30mA and above, where maximum brightness is required.

LED Light Voltage Requirement

How Do You Know What Voltage Your LED Is?

There are a few different ways you can use to know the voltage on your LED, such as;

1. The quickest and easy way is to check it up on the datasheet.

2. You can use a multimeter with a diode function to find the LED voltage

3. You can also connect a battery to a potentiometer and your LED. Begin with high resistance on the potentiometer and slowly reduce it until you get an excellent brightness. Then you measure the voltage above your LED and also the current passing through the circuit.

Chart You Can Use To Find Voltage For Your LED 

ColornameNominal Forward voltage (VF, @20 maPeak wavelength (nm)Dominant Wavelength (nm)Intensity (mcd) 5mm LEDs ( for Reference)RadiantPowerMw/sr 
Infrared1.7843N/AN/A[email protected]
Ultra Red1.9654641[email protected][email protected]
HE Red2.0640625[email protected] 20mA[email protected]
Super E.Red2.2634624[email protected][email protected]
Super Orange2.0616610[email protected][email protected]
Orange2.0609604[email protected][email protected]
Super yellow2.0598593[email protected][email protected]
Super P.Yellow2.3592589[email protected][email protected]
Yellow2.1582584[email protected][email protected]
Warm White3.33000kN/A[email protected][email protected]
Pale White3.36000kN/A[email protected][email protected]
Cool White3.38000kN/A[email protected][email protected]
Super L. Green2.0575573[email protected][email protected]
HE Green2.3563589[email protected][email protected]
Super P. Green2.1563564[email protected][email protected]
Pure Green2.2557560[email protected][email protected]
Aqua Green3.452252815,[email protected][email protected]
Blue Green3.4501502[email protected][email protected]
Super Blue3.2455460[email protected][email protected]
Ultra Blue4.0425447[email protected][email protected]
Ultra Violet3.8402420[email protected][email protected]

Can You Use A 220v LED Light Bulb With A 110v Current?

If it’s a universal LED light bulb, you can use it. But if the LED light bulb is made for 220v and 110v, and each has a different kind of caps, they can’t be interchangeable. Although the input voltage states 100-240v Ac, it’s a universal LED bulb. The same case for 110v having flat pins and 220v plugs with rounded pins, which are not interchangeable. 

Please note that under-driving any LED strips while using a lower voltage rather than its rated voltage is entirely safe. Furthermore, it doesn’t have detrimental effects on the LEDs or the circuit. Usually, if something is driven below their rated current, then the LED strip’s historical lifespan will be even longer.

What Is The Max Voltage For An LED?

Typically, the LED voltage, VL, is known by its color. Red LEDs usually have the lowest voltage, while green and yellow are a bit higher. Nonetheless, white and blue LEDs have the highest voltages. Therefore, the max voltage for an LED is VL = LED voltage (2v or 4v, blue and white LEDs). The LED current is supposed to be less when you compare it with the maximum amount permitted for your LED. 

For regular 5mm diameter LEDs, the maximum is typically 20mA. However,  10mA   or 15mA is the perfect value for most circuits. The current should be in amps (A) for any calculation. However, to convert from Ma to A, divide the current in mA using 1000. When the calculated value isn’t there, take the nearest typical resistor value that’s greater to allow the current to be slightly less than you chose. It’s good to take a more excellent resistor value to minimize the current, making the LED less bright.

How Much Voltage Does A LED Light Need?

Studies reveal that the voltage that LED light does need lies between 2 to 3 volts, but it relies mainly on the color and type of your device. However, to know for sure the exact voltage, you might need to look it up on the voltage chart like the one we provided in this article. Please note those are just averages, and there might be a slight variation based on the manufacturer, so confirm the exact values.

What Resistor Do I Need For A 12V LED?

The formula for resistor = (Battery Voltage – LED Voltage) / desired LED current. Let’s assume a 12-volt power source and a white LED with the required current of 10 mA.  Resistor will = (12-3.4)/.010 that is 820-ohm resistor.

We also need to decide the energy rating by multiplying the voltage value dropped over the resistor via the current value. To calculate for our example above will be (12-3.4) * .010 = 0.086, meaning we can safely use a ¼ watt resistor in our application because we must use the maximum standard wattage rating value.

When more than one value is needed, you should use multiple LEDs with the same color connected in parallel. To control similar voltage requirements, though, the current value will improve directly to the number of LEDs. Similarly, the wattage rating of the resistor might increase also. For example, let assume the same white LED except we will connect five LED in parallel now. Thus, the current value needed will be ten mA multiplied by 5 (.010 * 5= .050). use this formula it will be; (12-3.4/.050 = 172 ohms. Use the common value of 180 ohms. So the wattage rating will now be higher (12-3.4) * .050 = .43; for this case, we will be required to use at least a ½ watt resistor.

What Happens If You Don’t Use A Resistor With An LED?

If you decide to hook your LED straight to the 5 volts without a resistor, there are high chances that the LED will be over-driven. Yes, it might be very bright for a while, but it will burn out later on. Typically, if you are hooking up an LED, you’re required to use a current-controlling resistor to secure the LED from full voltage. If you want to prove this point, we request you to be cautious and avoid unnecessary damages.

How Much Voltage Does A Green LED Need?

Generally, the forward rating of a green LED relies majorly on the silicon elements and dopant the manufacturer uses. It’s likely to be around 2.0 to 3.4 v when conducting. Go back to our article and check at the table provided to determine the exact green shade you are talking about. From the table, you can assess its voltage; although there might be a slight variation, it will not make that much difference.

Can High Voltage Damage LED Lights?

Possibly, if the high voltage is high enough to damage the LED lights, when the voltage threshold has been achieved, the LED on its own becomes a near short circuit. As you add more voltage than its required number, your LED light bulb will be fused of. The electronic part found inside it will probably get damaged because of the high voltage. That will be the end of your light bulb; there will be no more light being emitted.

On the other hand, low voltage usage than own product provided voltage rating may make your LED light bulb not glow at all.  It can also grow dim with the minimum quantum of light of the actual one.

Do LEDs Get Brighter With More Voltage?

Not really, simply because LED is a current-type element, the voltage changes slightly, and the current differ broadly. Usually, the current-voltage relationship is nonlinear since the resistance is also nonlinear at the junction. When the voltage rises, the current rises also, and the LED junction resistance reduces at the nonlinear rate making a nonlinear improvement in current. It’s through a nonlinear turn in resistances that makes the nonlinear relationship connecting voltage and current.

However, when the voltage is very high, the PN junction’s heat will produce a lot, meaning the light decay is severe. So after becoming brighter for a while, LED will gradually darken and eventually get damaged.

What Is LED Voltage Drop?

Voltage drop is used while referring to the voltage loss that occurs through all or some parts of a circuit because of resistance. Electrical elements, wires, and virtually everything carrying current can also have an inherent resistance to current flow. Sometimes it’s used to determine the amount of voltage required to light it up LED.


Indeed, there is no limit on the voltage that one’s needs to use to power the circuit which drives the diode.  The diode only worries regarding what the diode sees, and that’s why it can’t know the voltage drop over the current controlling resistor.

Leave a Comment