Choosing the right capacitor for LED designs
Check out a guest column that has been loaded onto the website, written by Naoyuki Kobayashi, senior product manager at Murata.
He writes that that one problem frequently encountered when designing LED lighting circuits is that the capacitors in the circuit experience very high voltages which can cause them to fail long before the expected lifetime of the product.
The article begins:
LED lighting products are becoming more and more prevalent. The market for these products is extensive; practically any traditional method of lighting can be replaced with a planet-friendly LED version. LEDs make an excellent domestic light source because of their long life and excellent energy efficiency.
Components for LED lighting design must be selected carefully to ensure that they meet the lifetime and energy efficiency requirements of the end products. These requirements can be demanding – LED lighting products may have an expected lifetime of more than 40,000 hours, for example. It’s therefore crucial that all parts of the circuit are able to meet these requirements.
Ceramic capacitors in this type of circuit can be subject to high voltages and conditions unlike those usually seen in domestic appliance applications. These conditions can adversely affect the lifetime of ceramic capacitors which can mean they fail before the minimum lifetime of the end product is reached. This article explains the root of the problem and makes recommendations for ensuring ceramic capacitors do not cause lifetime problems for LED lighting products.
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