Explained in a very lucid style and through a schematic the complete construction of a LED light tube circuit which can be operated directly from the 230V AC mains of your domestic supply. This will not only save electric power but also help curb the global warming issue.

Transformerless LED Tubelight for Power Saving

The simple construction of an LED light tube discussed here will not only save electric power but also if used in every house will help reduce the ever increasing global warming effects.

Transformerless LED tubelight circuit with MOV protection

Today we are all aware regarding the bad effects of global warming and how it’s gripping our only planet day after day. But for this we ourselves are to be blamed.

You may be thinking how a common person can contribute to help solve the problem. Well look around you, yeah, it’s the lights that we are using presently generate quite an appreciable amount of heat to add to the global warming effect.

CFLs are considered to be quite efficient, but they too release quite a bit of heat. The issue can be very easily solved simply by transforming our heat producing lights into the "cool" white LED lights. We will learn in this article how simple it is to build a LED light tube that can easily replace your existing "hot" fluorescent tube lights!

LED tubelight with zener diode protection

You will require the following Parts for the construction:

One 36 inches long, 2 inches in diameter white PVC pipe,
150 Nos. White LEDs (5mm),
4 nos. 1N4007 diodes,
3 nos. 100 Ohms resistors,
1no. 1M resistor, 1/4 W,
1no. Capacitor 105/400V, Polyester,
14/36 Wire for connections,
Soldering iron, solder wire etc.

How to Build a Homemade LED Tubelight Circuit

The construction of this circuit is carried out through the following simple procedures:

Cut the PVC pipe lengthwise into half.

Drill equally distributed LED size holes over the entire area of the two halves of PVC pipes. As shown in the diagrams just fix all the LEDS throughout the pipe.
Be sure to keep the position of the polarity of all the LEDs in the same orientation, Cut and bend the LED leads so that the leads touch each other side by side.

Make 3 series of 50 LEDS each by soldering the joints.

Make sure that each series comprises the given resistor of 470 Ohms.
Connect the 3 series LEDs groups in parallel by joining their positive and negative leads together through flexible wires.
Make a bridge configuration rectifier by joining the 4 diodes together, and connect the relevant points to the LEDs and to a 2 pin mains cord, as shown in the figure.

 How to Test it?

Testing this LED tube light circuit is probably the simplest part of the whole operation; it is done through the following simple steps:

After finishing the construction procedure as described above, just plug in the 2 pin plug into the mains socket (be extremely careful as the whole circuit may contain leakage currents).

Instantly all the LEDS should come ON giving a dazzling effect. If any of the series is dead or not glowing, switch OFF the power and check for the LEDs connected with wrong polarity.

Glue all the LEDs so that they may not come out of the holes I which they are inserted. Finally join the two halves of the PVC pipes with the LEDS, either by tying them or gluing them together with cynoacralite bond. Close the two open ends of the tube appropriately.

This concludes the construction of the LED light tube circuit. For optimum performance it would better to hang the unit from the ceiling so that the light is distributed equally.

The PCB Design Layout for the above LED tube-light circuit can be seen in the following image.

complete PCB design for transformerless tube

Video Clip showing the testing of a similar LED tubelight using 108 LED in series parallel combination

Below is a 50 LED Tube Light made by Merley, for your viewing pleasure:

built prototype image of the tubelight

LED string light made by Mr.Bibin Edmond using the explained capacitive power supply.

led tubelight using red lights

Here's the image of the simple capacitive PS circuit used for lighting the above string LED light.....

courtesy: Bibin Edmond

high voltage capacitor with bridge rectifier

In case you think that a transformerless based LED tubelight may not be reliable or not powerful enough, you can opt for a transformer based power supply design for accomplishing the same, as described below.

LED Tube light using a Transformer Based Power Supply

In the following sections we will see how to make a simple lED tubelight using a transformer based power supply, and by connecting the desired number of LEDs in series parallel connection.

Using white LEDs for illuminating our homes is becoming popular nowadays, due to the high power efficiency involved with these devices.

The diagram shows a straightforward configuration involving many LEDs, arranged in series and parallel.

Circuits Description

Referring to the shown LED tube light circuit using transformer we see the LEDs are driven by a general purpose 24 V power supply for illuminating the LED bank very brightly.

The  power supply incorporates standard bridge and capacitor network for the required rectification and filtration of the supply voltage to the LEDs.The arrangement of the LEDs is done in the following way:

The supply voltage being 24, dividing it by the forward voltage of a white LED which is around 3 volts gives 24/3 = 6, meaning the supply voltage will be able to support at the most 6 LEDs in series.

However since we are interested to include many LEDs (132 here), we need to connect many of these series connected strings of LED through parallel connections.

That's exactly what we do here.

Total 22 strings of LEDs having 6 in each are connected in parallel, as shown in the figure.

Since current limiting becomes an important issue with the white LEDs, a limiting resistor is added in series with  each of the strings. The value of the resistor may be optimized by the user for adjusting the overall illumination of the LED tube light.

The proposed design will provide enough light for illuminating a small 10 by 10 room brightly, and will consume not more than 0.02 * 22 = 0.44 Amps or 0.44 * 24 = 10.56 watts of power.

24 Volt, LED Tube Light Circuit Using Transformer, Circuit Diagram

In the above designs we have learned how to make LED tube light without any current control which may be OK if the LEDs are not power LEDs and do not have the property of getting too hot due the extremely high bright illumination.

However for power LEDs which are designed to emit extremely high bright lights and which have the tendency to become too warm quickly, a heatsink and a current control feature become very important.

Why Current Controlled is Crucial for LEDs

Current control in an LED tube light becomes crucial because LEDs are current sensitive devices and can quickly get into a thermal runaway situation, ultimately damaging it permanently.

In an LED thermal runaway situation the LED starts drawing more current, and begins getting warmer due to the absence of a current control limit. The rising heat inside the LED fores the LED to draw even more current, which in turn cause more heat, this goes on until the LED is completely burnt and destryed. This phenomenon is known as thermal runaway situation in an LED.

To avoid this current control becomes too crucial for any LED driver circuit.

In this circuit resistor R2 is placed for converting the rising current to voltage across itself.

This voltage is sensed by R2 which immediately conducts and grounds T1's base rendering it inactive, the instantaneous process initiates a switching effect, producing the desired current control and safeguarding of the LEDs.

Each channel consists of 50 white LEDs in series. R2 is calculated with the following formula: R = 0.7 / I, where I = Total safe current consumed by the LEDs.The whole circuit of the current controlled LED tube light may be understood in this manner:

Simulation and Working

When input AC is applied to the circuit, C1 drops the input current down to a lower level which can be considered to be safe for operating the involved electronic circuit.

The diodes rectify the low current AC and feeds to the next current sensing stage consisting of T1 and T2.

Initially T1 is biased through R1 and conducts fully illuminating the entire array of LEDs.

As long as the current delivered by T1 or rather current drawn by the LEDs is within the specified safe limit, T2 remains in a non-conducting state, however of the current drawn by the LEDs begins to cross the safe limit, the voltage across the limiting resistor R2 begins to develop a small voltage across it.

When this voltage exceeds 0.6, T2 begins to leak through its collector emitter pin outs.
Since the collector of T2 is connected to the base of T1, the biasing current to T1 now starts leaking to ground.

This inhibits T1 from conducting fully and its collector current stops rising any further. Since the LEDs form the collector load of T1, the current through the LEDs also gets restricted and the devices are safeguarded from the rising current intake.

Ths above rise in the current takes place when the input AC rises, producing an equivalent increase in the LED current consumption, but the inclusion of T1 and T2, ensures that anything that's dangerous to the LEDs is effectively controlled and curbed.

Parts List for the proposed current controlled LED tube light circuit

T1 and T2 = KST42
R1, R2 = To be calculated.
R3 = 1 M, 1/4 W
Diodes = 1N4007,
C1 = 2 uF / 400 V,

current controlled LED tube light circuit

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