# EXPLANATION OF HOW A LED BULB WORKS AND REPAIRING IT - FIRST PART (ENG/SPN)

in Geek Zone11 months ago

Probably we have read quite e few posts about How to Repair LED Bulbs. However, have we been satisfied with the explanation about how they work and therefore why, depending on the cause, it is recommended to repair them?

So, instead of going to the repair right away, let us have a brief look on “How Do they Work?”, “What Electric Principles Do They Obey?”, and What Type of Electricity Do They Work on?”, and so for.

Probablemente hayamos leído bastantes posts sobre Cómo reparar los bombillos LED. Sin embargo, ¿Hemos quedado satisfechos con la explicación sobre cómo funcionan y por qué, dependiendo de la causa, se recomienda repararlas?

Así que, en lugar de ir a la reparación de inmediato, vamos a darle un breve vistazo a "¿Cómo funcionan?", "¿Qué principios eléctricos obedecen?", y ¿Con qué tipo de electricidad funcionan?", etc.

To begin with, LED or Light Emitting Diodes have two terminals, the positive one or anode, and the negative one or cathode. For an LED to function properly it has to be connected to a DC or Direct Current source, as well as being correctly biased if they are to light up. In other words, they need electricity such as that provided by a car’s battery. The electric diagram below represents a circuit of two diodes connected to a battery. For such diodes, the voltage across their terminals would be 0.5 V for Germanium made diodes and 0.7 for silicon made diodes. However, for LED the voltage across for them to light up is a lot higher, between 1.7 V to 4 V depending on the colour.

Para comenzar, los LED o Diodos Emisores de Luz tienen dos terminales, el positivo o ánodo, y el negativo o cátodo. Para que un LED funcione correctamente tiene que estar conectado a una fuente de corriente continua o directa, además de estar correctamente polarizado para que se ilumine. En otras palabras, necesitan electricidad como la que proporciona la batería de un carro. El siguiente diagrama eléctrico representa un circuito de dos diodos conectados a una batería. Para estos diodos, la tensión a través de sus terminales sería de 0,5 V para los diodos de germanio y de 0,7 para los de silicio. Sin embargo, en el caso de los LED, la tensión a través de ellos para que se enciendan es mucho mayor, entre 1,7 V y 4 V según el color.

Diode Circuit / Circuito de diodos

To know what diodes really look like from a circuit point of view is fine, but if I go to an electronic shop, what do I expect to see when I am shown a diode, an LED? Have a look at the picture below to get a glance. However, in a bulb, they do not look so, they are much smaller so that many of them can be arranged in a small area.

What an LED would look like physically

Saber cómo son realmente los diodos desde el punto de vista de los circuitos está bien, pero si voy a una tienda de electrónica, ¿Qué espero ver cuando me muestran un diodo, un LED? Echa un vistazo a la imagen de abajo para hacerte una idea. Sin embargo, en una bombilla no se ven así, son mucho más pequeños para que se puedan colocar muchos de ellos en un área pequeña.

Cómo sería un LED físicamente

LED physical shape &electronic symbol / Apariencia fisica de un LED y su simbolo electrónico

Picture 1. LED arrengement in a bulb / Foto 1. Configuración de LED en un bombillo

Upto now it seems to be fun, but how do we go about to light an LED or an arrangement of them at home where we need light specially at night? Are we going to carry a car’s battery or tribble A, or double A batteries when in need of light? Of course not. Scientists, tech investigators, technical people, created, developed what is known as the LED Light Bulb. A curious, common person with little or no knowledge about electricity would ask: Do these bulbs have inside them tribble or double A batteries? Or we just plug them into the bulb socket and hope nothing happens. If the current inside the house is not of the same type as the one in the car’s battery, how is it suitable for those bulbs?

Hasta ahora parece ser divertido, pero ¿cómo vamos a encender un LED o un conjunto de ellos en casa donde necesitamos luz especialmente por la noche? ¿Vamos a llevar la batería de un coche o baterías triples A, o dobles A cuando necesitemos luz? Por supuesto que no. Los científicos, los investigadores tecnológicos, los técnicos, crearon, desarrollaron, lo que se conoce como el bombillao LED. Un curioso, una persona común y corriente con poco o ningún conocimiento sobre electricidad se preguntaría: ¿Estos bombillos tienen en su interior baterias triples o doble A? O simplemente las conectamos al socate del bombillo y esperamos que no pase nada. Si la corriente en el interior de la casa no es del mismo tipo que la de la batería del auto, ¿cómo es que sirve para esos bombillos?

Type of LED according to the light colour required / Tipos de LED de acuerdo al color requerido

The electricity in the house is of the alternating type or AC current. By alternating current is meant one which changes its value in a cyclic way as time passes. It is normally represented by an undulating wavy line, i.e a sine wave, that rises to a maximum positive value, down to a max negative value, going through zero.

La electricidad de la casa es de tipo alterna o corriente alterna. Por esta se entiende aquella que cambia su valor de forma cíclica a medida que pasa el tiempo. Normalmente se representa mediante una línea ondulada, es decir, una onda sinusoidal, que sube hasta un valor positivo máximo, baja hasta un valor negativo máximo y pasa por cero.

Alternating Currente - Voltage representation / Representación de Voltaje - Corriente Alterna

By setting a reference as its neutral or zero, whatever value is above is considered positive, and any value below is considered negative, and it would repeat itself continuously. So, if an arrangement of diodes were to be connected directly to an AC source, it would imply that for the positive values the arrangement would light up but for the negative values it would not. Our house would look like a “disco”. Something has to be done to make the negative side of the AC current to go positive so that the diode arrangement would light up all the time. This process is called Rectification of the AC current. That is where an arrangement such as the one below comes into place.

Al establecer una referencia como su punto neutro o cero, cualquier valor por encima se considera positivo, y cualquier valor por debajo se considera negativo, y se repetiría continuamente. Así, si un arreglo de diodos se conectara directamente a una fuente de corriente alterna, implicaría que para los valores positivos el arreglo se iluminaría pero para los valores negativos no. Nuestra casa parecería una "discoteca". Hay que hacer algo para que el lado negativo de la corriente alterna pase a ser positivo para que el arreglo de diodos se ilumine todo el tiempo. Este proceso se llama rectificación de la corriente alterna. Ahí es donde entra en juego una disposición como la que se muestra a continuación.

At this point a question arises: What does this circuit do? Well, it is composed of two stages. One that receives the current from the socket or mains, connected to an electric transformer to bring the 110 V down to a suitable value (the blue and the yellow component in the circuit). This value would depend on the number of LED connected in series. But before going on any further, let us differentiate what a connection in series and parallel are. Series is similar to a line of people forming a human chain, hand by hand. Parallel is similar to two people dancing where they take the hands of each other.

En este punto surge una pregunta: ¿Qué hace este circuito? Pues bien, se compone de dos etapas. Una que recibe la corriente del enchufe o de la red, conectada a un transformador eléctrico para bajar los 110 V a un valor adecuado (el componente azul y el amarillo del circuito). Este valor dependerá del número de LED conectados en serie. Pero antes de seguir adelante, diferenciemos lo que es una conexión en serie y en paralelo. La conexión en serie es similar a una fila de personas formando una cadena humana, brazos entrelazados. En paralelo es similar a dos personas bailando en las que se toman la manos del otro.

From my Power Point Presntation / De mi Presentación Power Point

From the Picture 1, LED arrangement picture shown previously, there are 17 LED connected in series. Assuming there is 4 V in each of them, the total voltage across them all would be 4 x 17 = 68 V. So, the previous 110 AC volts must be made suitable by the transformer to suit this value, plus the additional voltage drop across the resistors connected in series to control the current flow or the LEDs would blow or burn. Additionally, a capacitor is connected in parallel to the output of the transformer to mantain the required value, approximately 120 AC to 170 AC volts. That is why I said a suitable value.

The next stage in the circuit board is the rectification and regulation one. This is achieved by the circuit shown below.

La siguiente etapa en el circuito es la de rectificación y regulación. Esto se consigue con el circuito que se muestra a continuación.

Pa 291. Bridge Rectifying Circuit / Pag 291. Circuito de Puente Recificador

What this circuit does is to make the bottom part of the sine wave shown previously or the bottom bumps zoomed in the previous picture to a series of bumps one after each other on the same side, zoomed on the lower side of the previous picture.

Lo que hace este circuito es convertir la parte inferior de la onda sinusoidal mostrada anteriormente o las protuberancias inferiores ampliadas en la imagen anterior en una serie de protuberancias una tras otra en el mismo lado, ampliadas en la parte inferior de la imagen anterior.

The green colored cylindrical shaped capacitors also seen on the rectifier card or board are there to smooth the space between bumps, so that the current or voltage fed to the LEDs is more like a DC current or voltage normally represented by a straight line as it does not change.

Los condensadores de forma cilíndrica de color verde que también se ven en la tarjeta o placa rectificadora están ahí para suavizar el espacio entre las protuberancias, de modo que la corriente o el voltaje alimentado a los LEDs se parezca más a una corriente o voltaje de CC normalmente representado por una línea recta, ya que no cambia.

Knowing how they work, when an LED bulb does not light up, the first to do is to check if the rectifying circuit is outputting any voltage. If not, it would be better to discard it and get a new bulb due to lower cost. However, if the output voltage from the rectifying stage is what we expect, somewhere between 150V to 170 V, then the LED diode arrangement should be check, bearing in mind that when one LED is burnt, it has some kind of black spot on its plastic cover.

Sabiendo cómo funcionan, cuando un bombillo LED no se enciende, lo primero que hay que hacer es comprobar si el circuito rectificador emite alguna tensión.Si no es así, será mejor descartar y adquirir un nuevo bombillo por su menor costo. Sin embargo, si la tensión de salida de la etapa rectificadora es la esperada, entre 150 V y 170 V, hay que comprobar la disposición de los diodos LED, teniendo en cuenta que cuando un LED se quema, tiene una especie de mancha negra en su cubierta de plástico.

Black spots on Burnt LEDs / Puntos negros en los LEDs Quemados

All photographs used are of my own.

Todas las fotografías utilizadas son de mi autoría

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I hate throwing out LED bulbs. Unfortunately many LED bulb manufacturers appear to have planned obsolescence in mind. All of the LEDs are on the same circuit and one has to break the outer bulb to get to the electronics.

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Hello @yintercept.
Totally agreed. If something can be repaired we have to find out how, that way we feel constructive, useful, as well as saving a bit on money.
On some LED bulbs that outer shield can be taken off by pressing it around with a thing flat screwdriver, so as to "unglue" it from the rest of the bulb, exposing the LED array. That way you could measure the volts coming from the rectifying stage. If there is nothing at that output, then you would be better off buying a new one since the reapir could be more expensive.
Please, have a look at the 2nd part of this post which I would be publisihng shortly. Probably you may see how to disassemble some of them.
If I can be of any assistance, I will be glad to do it.
Take care..

I often open up the bulbs and tear out the bits of copper inside. I think is it worthwhile to like recyclable materials found in electronic objects. There is often an appreciable amount of copper in motors, which i see is the subject of your current post.

If something can be repaired we have to find out how, that way we feel constructive, useful, as well as saving a bit on money.

We are used to tossing out light bulbs as incandescent and fluorescent bulbs depended on the gas in the bulb. Fluorescent bulbs contain a little mercury which needs to be disposed properly.

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