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Polarity question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I bought a couple SMD LED strips from ebay and I'm unsure of the polarity of the leads. They have copper and silver leads attached to them. I'm guessing the copper is positive and the silver is negative. If I'm wrong and hook them up backwards do I have to worry about burning out the strips?



post #2 of 10
I don't know which is which, but if you google LEDs you can find pictures that show which will be which. If you look in the bulb (diode) itself there are plastic or glass or whatever kinda pieces in there which will match the image from google and allow you to figure out which is pos and which is neg.

Edit: This should help http://www.makingthings.com/document.../image_preview
Edited by Skuloth - 4/26/11 at 9:30am
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
These SMD LEDs are very tiny so you can't see in them and the plastic strip they are mounted on hides which wire is connected to which side of the LEDs.
post #4 of 10
The whole point of a diode is to stop current flowing the wrong way ^^

As long as you don't overvolt it the wrong way you should be fine.
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
OK guess I'll just hook them up. Thanks!
post #6 of 10
if you connect them with the wrong polarity (at the correct voltage) then the light simply won't light up.
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by radodrill View Post
if you connect them with the wrong polarity (at the correct voltage) then the light simply won't light up.
Uh...If you give them enough power, they'll blow up. And either way, you damage them.

Typically speaking, copper is the positive and aluminum/silver color is return (negative). That's how it's usually done with speakers/audio atleast...
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLaw View Post
Typically speaking, copper is the positive and aluminum/silver color is return (negative). That's how it's usually done with speakers/audio atleast...
Which is what it ended up being. Unfortunately the LED strip won't work for what I wanted. It flashes, which wasn't in the auction description but it was in the title after I had a second look. So I ordered another one that should be constant on.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLaw View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by radodrill View Post
if you connect them with the wrong polarity (at the correct voltage) then the light simply won't light up.
Uh...If you give them enough power, they'll blow up. And either way, you damage them.
I know that if you apply too much of a forward or reverse voltage the LED will fry. What I was saying was that since the maximum reverse voltage is typically 2-3 time higher than the forward voltage, if the LED is connected to the rated (forward) voltage with reverse polarity the LED simply won't light up but will not harm the LED.
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post #10 of 10
To sum up what others posted before me..

Whichever wire core is lightest should be your negative. Led's are diodes and wont allow current to flow but in one direction.
Edited by Tw34k - 4/28/11 at 8:22pm
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