Circuit Theoretic Considerations of LED Driving: Voltage-Source Versus Current-Source Driving

Zheng Dong, Chi K. Tse, S. Y.Ron Hui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are solid-state devices with specific v-i characteristics. In this paper, we study the basic requirement of the driving circuits and discuss the proper approach to drive LEDs in view of their characteristics. We compare voltage source driving and current source driving, and discuss their relative advantages and constraints. We specifically introduce the use of circuit duality principle for developing new current-source-mode (CSM) drivers that are less known but are theoretically more versatile compared to their conventional voltage-source-mode counterparts. The study highlights the effects of the choice of driving circuits in terms of the number and size of circuit components used, duty cycle variation, sensitivity of control, nonlinearity and control complexity of LED drivers. We propose a CSM single-inductor multiple-output (SIMO) converter, which demonstrates the advantage of having inductorless and easily controlled current-source drivers, and present a comparison of the CSM SIMO converter with the existing SIMO converters. We further illustrate that a high-voltage-step-down ratio can be naturally achieved by the CSM high-voltage-step-down converter without the use of transformers. This paper presents a systematic and comparative exposition of the circuit theory of driving LEDs, with experimental evidence supporting the major conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8424050
Pages (from-to)4689-4702
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Current-source-mode converters
  • high-voltage-step-down converter
  • LED driver
  • multiple-output power supply
  • voltage-source-mode converters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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