## LED for Pi 2 - 3.3v or 5v?

dman777
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:44 pm

### LED for Pi 2 - 3.3v or 5v?

I want to use 2 led's for a Pi 2.... can I use 5v or does pi 2 only output 3.3v?

mahjongg
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### Re: LED for Pi 2 - 3.3v or 5v?

LED' are neither 3.3V or 5V, with the rare exception of LED's which have an internal series resistor calculated for 3.3V or 5V. A "5V LED" can still be connected directly to a GPIO, but its brightness will be diminished.

LED's are actually Diodes, so they need a certain voltage before they start to conduct, (the "forward voltage") this voltage mostly depends on the LED's light wavelength, with longer wavelengths (shifting to RED) associated with lower forward voltages (around 2V) and LED's with shorter wavelengths (shifting towards BLUE) having somewhat higher forward voltages (around 3V).

As DIODES they need a series resistor to actually limit the current flowing through them, typically from 1mA (high efficient) to 10mA (some older LEDs). To calculate the resistor voltage you take the feeding voltage, say 5V, and subtract the LED's forward voltage, so you get the voltage over the resistor. Then its just Ohms law, R=U/I (or R=V/I depending on which notation you use).

example a high efficiency RED LED on 5V. So:
V = 5V
V Forward = 2V
I = 1/1000 A = 1mA = 0.001A
thus R = (V - V Forward) / 0.001 = 3 /0.001 = 3000 Ohm, or 3K

FTrevorGowen
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### Re: LED for Pi 2 - 3.3v or 5v?

dman777 wrote:I want to use 2 led's for a Pi 2.... can I use 5v or does pi 2 only output 3.3v?
The GPIOs on all Pis output 3.3V (logic level 1 or "high"). However you need to limit the current flowing through a LED with a resistor whether it's connected to a GPIO and 0V (active high) or a GPIO and 3.3V (active low), the "other way around" (remember, it's a Light Emitting Diode). FWIW, some typical resistor values etc. can be seen in this simple circuit used to monitor a Pis supply rails and the Rx & Tx (serial port) GPIOs:
http://www.cpmspectrepi.webspace.virgin ... ector.html
Trev.
Still running Raspbian Jessie on some older Pi's (an A, B1, B2, B+, P2B, 3xP0, P0W) but Stretch on my P3B+, P3B, B+, A+ and a B2. See: https://www.cpmspectrepi.uk/raspberry_pi/raspiidx.htm

pluggy
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### Re: LED for Pi 2 - 3.3v or 5v?

Just don't expect a blue or white LED to work at 3.3 volts.
Don't judge Linux by the Pi.......
I must not tread on too many sacred cows......

FTrevorGowen
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### Re: LED for Pi 2 - 3.3v or 5v?

pluggy wrote:Just don't expect a blue or white LED to work at 3.3 volts.
Probably depends on the LED - I have some 3mm blue leds that are fine (see the link in my previous post). Tend to agree w.r.t. white LEDs but, then again, nokia-style lcd's with "white" backlights seem to work fine with 22ohms in series (from the 3.3V supply rail) or via a transistor buffer:
http://www.cpmspectrepi.webspace.virgin ... lcdV2.html
Trev.
Still running Raspbian Jessie on some older Pi's (an A, B1, B2, B+, P2B, 3xP0, P0W) but Stretch on my P3B+, P3B, B+, A+ and a B2. See: https://www.cpmspectrepi.uk/raspberry_pi/raspiidx.htm

mahjongg
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### Re: LED for Pi 2 - 3.3v or 5v?

"white" leds, are simply blue leds, with a dot of (yellow) phosphorous that converts blue light to yellow light, to fill in the colour spectrum (real white leds do not exist, but sometimes three (RGB) leds are used to produce "white")
blue leds have a typical forward voltage of 3V, so yes, they can be used with a 3V3 source, but as the series resistor only has 0.3V to "work with", any variation on the 3V3 voltage will cause an uncommonly large current variation, thus the led might not give out a stable light intensity.

boyoh
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### Re: LED for Pi 2 - 3.3v or 5v?

A standard red led will give a good light with 1.8/ 2v
dropped across it. and a current of 0.01ma ( 10ma )

GPIO o/p 3.3V+------------( 130R )-----(a led k )-----0v-

5v+--------( 300R )-----------( a led k )------------------0v-

3.3v - 2v = 1.3v / 0.01ma = 130r

5v - 2v = 3v / 0.01ma = 300r
BoyOh ( Selby, North Yorkshire.UK)
Some Times Right Some Times Wrong

Burngate
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### Re: LED for Pi 2 - 3.3v or 5v?

boyoh wrote:A standard red led will give a good light with 1.8/ 2v
dropped across it. and a current of 0.01ma ( 10ma )

GPIO o/p 3.3V+------------( 130R )-----(a led k )-----0v-

5v+--------( 300R )-----------( a led k )------------------0v-

3.3v - 2v = 1.3v / 0.01ma = 130r

5v - 2v = 3v / 0.01ma = 300r
I think you may have put m's where you didn't mean to?

boyoh
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### Re: LED for Pi 2 - 3.3v or 5v?

Burngate wrote:
boyoh wrote:A standard red led will give a good light with 1.8/ 2v
dropped across it. and a current of 0.01ma ( 10ma )

GPIO o/p 3.3V+------------( 130R )-----(a led k )-----0v-

5v+--------( 300R )-----------( a led k )------------------0v-

3.3v - 2v = 1.3v / 0.01ma = 130r

5v - 2v = 3v / 0.01ma = 300r
I think you may have put m's where you didn't mean to?
Thanks for correcting me, I've lost count
the times I made the same mistake
My regards to Burngate.

BoyOh
BoyOh ( Selby, North Yorkshire.UK)
Some Times Right Some Times Wrong