Bilevel current driving technique for LEDs

Wai Keung Lun, Ka Hong Loo, Siew Chong Tan, Y. M. Lai, Chi Kong Tse

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


The significant improvements recently achieved in LED technology in terms of lifetime, luminous efficacy, power rating, and color property render LED one of the most promising candidates to replace conventional light sources in various residential and industrial applications. The rapid advancement in the device characteristics has simultaneously stimulated interests in developing efficient LED drivers with optimized control circuitries. The two conventional techniques currently employed in most LED drivers, namely the amplitude-mode and pulsewidth modulation (PWM) mode driving techniques, suffer from the disadvantage that high luminous efficacy in the amplitude mode has to be traded for control flexibility in the PWM mode and vice versa. In this paper, a method is proposed to improve the luminous efficacy of conventional PWM-mode driving technique while retaining their control flexibility by introducing a dc-offset component into the PWM current. Two LEDs were used in the experimental verifications. Improvements of 17.6% and 18.1% on average were measured by maintaining a dc offset of 100 and 200 mA, respectively, in the LED current. Further improvement can be achieved by increasing the dc-offset current. The main tradeoff is the reduction of the dynamic range over which the average LED current can be controlled. For a given set of performance criteria, the proposed method offers designers of LED drivers the flexibility of balancing between luminous efficacy and dynamic range for control.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5200334
Pages (from-to)2920-2932
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Bilevel current
  • Buck converter
  • Control
  • LED
  • Luminous efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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