Super Bright

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Frequently Asked Questions...

What resistor and cell should I use for my circuit?

I am going to use four super bright white LED's, with 19000mcd each, and need the cells to be relatively small. I was intending to use two cr2016 which are 3v and I habe no clue on resistors. Are there any more suitable batteries for me and what resistor would you recommend? Thanks
and how many resistors?

Best Answer...


Two other numbers are needed: LED forward current in mA, and forward voltage.

If you don't know those for sure, you can make a guesstimate by seeing the first URL below at wikipedia that lists common forward voltages for different color leds. (Forward voltage and voltage drop are synonyms.)

If you have no clue about forward current, guesstimate and start Really Really Small, like 5 or 10 mA, and see how bright they get. The only mistake you can make here is too low a resistor value, yielding too high a current, and the LEDs go pop-pop-pop-pop. :)

With numbers, the second URL is an *excellent* online 'led circuit calculator.' It'll tell you R and W requirements, and draw the circuit for you.

Yes, the 6V is fine. With the battery values, and the mA returned by the calculator, you can guesstimate how long a set of batteries will last.