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Celebrating the independent kiwi spirit of invention.


Original list by Ian Mander started 1 February 2008. Added to this site (Aqualab) 26 November 2008. Database released 27 May 2009.
Please note that the date mentioned below that the database code was last updated is not the date the data itself was last updated.

Driver List
Database code 16 December 2019
Footnotes 10 August 2016

Step-up drivers
Low voltage step-down drivers

Mains drivers
User interface & PWM drivers

Drivers not yet added
3 March 2012
Links
28 February 2012

Why use a driver?
20 February 2010

Driver types overview
15 September 2010


LED Driver List – multimode LED drivers

An O-ring, Tailcap & Silicone Grease List is also available.

Video Foundry/Aqualab does not sell any of these drivers. Links are provided to resellers. The short URL for this list is www.videofoundry.co.nz/driverlist. See the bottom of the page for my email address. If you're just a spam bot looking for fodder, spam the hell out of these spammers' addresses: spammer address 1, spammer address 2, spammer address 3. They deserve a taste of their own spam.

Note that some sellers are more reliable than others. Inclusion of particular resellers in this list is not an endorsement of them as businesses.

Jump to: Footnotes & Instructions | Schottky diodes.

26 drivers found. Listed by driver name.

Driver Name

SKU or catalogue #

Retailer

Price (US$)
(shipping incl unless
otherwise stated)

Driver Type

Driver Purpose

Vin min-max
(DC except where noted)
Number of LEDs (or LED dice) in series
min-max
Battery Suitability Efficiency
min-max

Output Current
(off the shelf)

Max current (with just a resistor modification)

Number of Modes Size
(diameter except where noted)

Notes

Show only SKUs containing

from $
to $

Stock level


from
to

Driver can power

LEDs incl with driver

    (instead of off-the-shelf current)
from
to

from
to
 

3 W Buck, 5 mode

7425

DealExtreme

$3.45
(sold out and/or discontinued)

Buck driver

3.6-8.4 V 1 3-6x NiMH,
1-2x Li-ion
 

1000 mA

5 17 mm - two boards in double layer Buck driver using PWM for modes, although what exactly the modes are seems to vary - high, low, slow strobe, fast strobe, and either SOS or beacon (1 flash every 8 or 10 seconds). High is 700-1000 mA depending on input voltage. Apparently based on PT4105 chip - see separate notes below - and may be able to cope with higher input voltage.

3x AMC7135, "random brightness"

ECS001092

CN Quality Goods

$7.50 + shipping

Linear regulator

3.0-6.0 V 1 1x Li-ion
3x NiMH
 

1050 mA

3 17 mm The description for how this thing works is a big fat lost-in-translation mystery. Possibly 3 modes; programmed brightness, strobe, random mode (can be set to any brightness 0-100%). There's also a "tactical mode" mentioned which involves a half press... of what? Two-stage low voltage protection; with poor quality Li-ion cells the first stage (output drops to 8 mA) will cut in at less than 2/3 the battery capacity. Polarity protection. See extra AMC7135 notes below.

3x AMC7135, 16 mode
(Nanjg 101-AK)

S003214

KaiDomain

$4.08
(up from $3.99)

Linear regulator

3.3-6.1 V
(for 0.6 V lower Vin see Tip 1 in the notes below)
1 3x NiMH
1x Li-ion
50-97%

1050 mA
constant current

16 17 mm Uses three AMC7135 linear regulator chips and possibly an ATtiny13V for PWM modes; 16 modes in 3 groups, including one with no flashing modes. Claimed in different places to be both 16 and 17 modes. Space on the board for a 4th AMC7135. Appears to be exactly the same as KD S009743, which is cheaper. See extra AMC7135 notes below.

Formerly product ID 1677.

3x AMC7135, 16 or 17 mode
(Nanjg 101-AK)

S009743

KaiDomain

$3.27 each
(up from $3.20),
also available in 5 pack

Linear regulator

3.3-6.1 V
(for 0.6 V lower Vin see Tip 1 in the notes below)
1 3x NiMH
1x Li-ion
50-97%

1050 mA
constant current

16 17 mm Uses three AMC7135 linear regulator chips and possibly an ATtiny13V for PWM modes; 16 modes in 3 groups, including one with no flashing modes. Claimed in different places to be both 16 and 17 modes. Space on the board for a 4th AMC7135. Appears to be exactly the same as KD S003214, which is more expensive.

Formerly product ID 10996. Also available in a 5 pack, S009744 (formerly product ID 10997).

3x AMC7135, 2 mode
(Nanjg AK-47)

S004659

KaiDomain

$3.68 each
(down from $3.98),
also available in 5 pack and 20 pack

Linear regulator

3.3-6.1 V
(for 0.6 V lower Vin see Tip 1 in the notes below)
1 3x NiMH
1x Li-ion
50-97%

1050 mA
constant current

2 17 mm Linear regulator board using 3 AMC7135 chips and a microcontroller for PWM modes; high, low (15%). Mode memory. Alternate mode groups may be selectable by using the star-shaped contacts, as detailed here. A review is here. See extra AMC7135 notes below.

Formerly product ID 1801. Also available in a 5 pack, S004660 (formerly product ID 1802). Also available in a 20 pack, S006268 (formerly product ID 6052), but with the low mode possibly just 50 mA (a detail which has been lost with KD's last site update).

3x AMC7135, 5 mode

ECS001091

CN Quality Goods

$7.50 + shipping

Linear regulator

3.0-6.0 V 1 1x Li-ion
3x NiMH
 

1050 mA
constant current

4 17 mm 4 modes; low (3-4 mA), medium (200 mA), high, strobe. Two-stage low voltage protection; with poor quality Li-ion cells the first stage (output drops to 2 mA) will cut in at less than 2/3 the battery capacity. Polarity protection. See extra AMC7135 notes below.

3x AMC7135, 5 mode
(Nanjg AK-47)

S009484

KaiDomain

$3.50
(up from $3.44)

Linear regulator

3.3-6.1 V
(for 0.6 V lower Vin see Tip 1 in the notes below)
1 3x NiMH
1x Li-ion
50-97%

1050 mA
constant current

5 17 mm Linear regulator using three AMC7135 chips (formerly listed as having four) and an ATtiny13A for PWM mode control. Five modes - high, medium, low, strobe, SOS. Alternate mode groups can be selectable by using the star-shaped contacts, as detailed here. See extra AMC7135 notes below.

Formerly product ID 9605.

3x AMC7135, 19 mode (Nanjg 15)

417

e-lectronics.net

$4.50 + shipping

Linear regulator

3.3-6.1 V
(for 0.6 V lower Vin see Tip 1 in the notes below)
1 3x NiMH,
4x alkaline,
1x Li-ion
50-97%

1050 mA
constant current

19 17 mm Formerly 2 mode. Linear regulator board using three AMC7315 chips and probably a PIC12F629 for PWM mode control. Has a group with high/medium/low without flash or strobe. Low mode 120 mA. Note that the claimed input voltage doesn't allow for the polarity protection diode, which is confirmed by the mention that it operates best over 3.5 V; the more likely correct figures are listed in this Driver List table. See extra AMC7135 notes below.

3x AMC7135, 3 mode
(Nanjg AK-47)

S003256

KaiDomain

$3.75
(up from $3.69,
down from $4.99)

Linear regulator

3.3-6.1 V
(for 0.6 V lower Vin see Tip 1 in the notes below)
1 3x NiMH
1x Li-ion
50-97%

1050 mA
constant current

3 17 mm Uses three AMC7135 linear regulator chips and ATtiny13V for PWM modes - low, medium, high according to gunga, not the other way around. Is not 1.2 A output as claimed, but you might get 1.1 A. Changing the mode group may also be possible using the contacts on the bottom of the driver board. See extra AMC7135 notes below.

Formerly product ID 1694 and 8020.

5 mode board

Shining Beam

$5.95 + shipping
(sold out and/or discontinued)

Boost driver and buck driver

4.0-15 V 1    

1000 mA

5 17 mm This driver has been replaced on the retailer's web site with a 3 mode linear regulator (with the same URL). Plain weird or a typo?
 
Old details: Claims to be a boost/buck driver, implying it can handle multiple LEDs, but no information is provided about that. 5 modes - high (1000 mA), medium (300 mA), low (100 mA), strobe, SOS. Mode memory.

Assembled Blue Shark with Remora UI

1164

Sandwich Shoppe

$55.00 + shipping
(sold out and/or discontinued)

Boost driver

2.7-25 V 1-5    

980 mA
constant current

4 19 mm - two boards in double layer This product has vanished from the retailer's web site.
 
Multimode boost regulator. Maximum input current 4 A. Available in two flavours - three mode Plain (low, medium, high) and four mode Special (with SOS).

Assembled Shark with Remora UI

1089

Sandwich Shoppe

$50.00 + shipping
(sold out and/or discontinued)

Boost driver

2.7-20 V 1-5    

980 mA
constant current

4 19 mm - two boards in double layer This product has vanished from the retailer's web site.

Multimode boost regulator. Maximum input current 4 A. Available in two flavours - three mode Plain (low, medium, high) and four mode Special (with SOS).

AX2002 Multi-level Buck, 3 mode

CPF member

$12.00 (up from $10.40) + shipping
(backordered)

Buck driver

3.6-15 V 1-4   80-90%

1040 mA
constant current

Can be modified to 2000 mA

3 23 mm Limited availability from CPF member download. Uses the popular AX2002 chip; this seems to be the only AX2002 driver available with modes.

Present, designation J: 3 modes; low (50 mA), medium (200 mA), high (1 A). No memory. A few of these have been sold pre-configured to 1.4 A.

Previously, designation H: 3 modes; high (1 A), medium (200 mA), low (30 mA). Has memory. 17 mm diameter. Input voltage 3.6-23 V, 1-6 LEDs.

Claimed 0.25 V headroom (the amount input voltage must be above output voltage); this is probably actually the feedback voltage (the voltage dropped across the current set resistor) - other AX2002 drivers have ~0.5 V headroom. It may be able to be set the output current up to 2 A, the rating for the AX2002.

bFlex v3

bflex

TaskLED

$30.00 + shipping
(sold out and/or discontinued)

Buck driver

4.0-25 V 1-7    

1000 mA
constant current

8 25 mm Buck regulator. Constant current out 350-1000 mA (user reconfigurable) at up to 24 V, uController UI. Thermal and polarity protection included.

DL-00193

107676

DealExtreme

$3.70
(backordered)

Buck driver

3.0-9.0 V 1 2x Li-ion  

1000 mA

5 17 mm x 7 mm high - two boards in double layer 5 modes; high, medium (50%), low (10%), strobe (8 Hz), SOS.

DL-006

106487

DealExtreme

$3.70

Buck driver

3.6-9.0 V 1    

1000 mA

5 17 mm x 6 mm high - two boards in double layer Five modes, weird mode order; medium (30%), low (8%), high, strobe (8 Hz), SOS.

LD-21

p-490

Intl Outdoor Store

$8.50
For 1-2: + shipping
(sold out and/or discontinued)

Buck driver

3.3-10.0 V 1 1-2x Li-ion
2-3x CR123A
 

1000 mA
constant current

5 17 mm x 8 mm high - components on both sides Driver removed from site.

5 modes with memory; high (1 A), medium (300 mA), low (50 mA), strobe, SOS. Modes use PWM. Low voltage warning; light will slowly flash at 3.3 V (which seems very conservative) and 6.2 V.

MaxFlex v5A

maxflex

TaskLED

$35.00 + shipping

Boost driver

2.5-20 V 1-8   83-93%

1300 mA
constant current

8 23 mm Boost regulator. Vin must be less than Vout. User configurable constant current, 350-1300 mA (increased from 1200 mA) at up to 29 V (increased from 24 V). uController UI, status LED. Open circuit protected, polarity protected.
 
Shark vs MaxFlex forum thread.

Nanjg 18

7882

DealExtreme

$4.26
(sold out and/or discontinued)

Boost driver

0.8-7.0 V 1 1-2x NiMH 60-91%

1000 mA

17 17 mm Former version 19 mode Nanjg 16 (NJG-016) is the one pictured on DX. New version (NJG18) has the first mode group with just low, medium, high as detailed here.

Previous version: 19 mode boost driver using "Seiko S-8352D (or a clone thereof)" (datasheet, PDF 528 KB) which is a constant voltage boost driver chip. User-adjustable output voltage (not current) ~2 V up to 7.4 V. Output voltage must be greater than input voltage; one report says it will keep working down to 0.3 V but will not turn on unless input voltage is at least 1.1 V. Note that it runs out of regulation, so is not a constant current or constant voltage driver. Capable of ~700 mA output from a single AA NiMH cell, or ~1000 mA from two. Efficiency in the 60-70% range if output is much over 1 W (running the board on 1x AA), and pushing 90% at ~1 W - amazing for an inexpensive boost driver. Do not operate without a load connected.

Is it suitable for a Li-ion cell? See a good analysis here by Tido, who writes: "Yes and no. It's possible to use this circuit with a high Vf LED like an XR-E... Things are different with an XP-G..."

Tip 1: To disable modes (and a mode list) see this post.

Tip 2: A mod to get this driver to fit an Ultrafire A10 is detailed here.

nFlex

nflex

TaskLED

$30.00 + shipping
(sold out and/or discontinued)

Buck driver

4.0-30 V 1   85%

1000 mA
constant current

8 28 mm x 20.3 mm Buck regulator. Constant current out 1000 mA (user reconfigurable, 350 mA default) at up to 25 V, uController UI.

TR-0022b, 3-mode no memory

25517

DealExtreme

$2.75
(backordered)

Buck driver

3.0-12 V
(3-8.4 V claimed)
1 1-2x Li-ion 80-88%

1100 mA

3 17 mm - two boards in double layer Buyer beware. Unknown regulation method, assumed to be buck because of input voltage range, which is listed as two different ranges in the title and description. Conflicting specs. Driver chip is marked LEDA 0712 (Vsense probably 0.25 V), with Schottky diode SS34. Three modes (presumably using PWM); claimed high 800±50 mA but tested to be 1100 mA, low 200±20 mA, fast strobe claimed 400±50 mA. Output current may vary by battery voltage. Efficiency improves from 80% to 88% if sense resistor is changed to lower the output current.

Although specified for use up to 8.4V it apparently works with 12 V with 2 LEDs (simulated) and the efficiency can be increased to 90% at 1 A output with a mod.

Claims to provide different current outputs (1-1.2 A) to different Cree efficacy bins. I think NOT. Also claimed 0.8 A output. Buyer beware.

TR-0022b, 5-mode no memory

26107

DealExtreme

$3.23
(up from $2.85)

Buck driver

3.0-8.4 V 1 1-2x Li-ion 80%

1200 mA

5 17 mm April 2015. Photos have been changed - buyer beware. No longer two boards in double layer.

Purchasers in April 2010 reported receiving a 3 mode board (compare with DX sku.26111) - buyer beware.

Unknown regulation method, assumed to be buck because of input voltage range. 5 modes (presumably using PWM), high 1200±100 mA, mid 550±50 mA, low 100±10 mA, fast strobe 650±50 mA, SOS 1200±100 mA.
 
Claims to provide different current outputs (1-1.2 A) to different Cree efficacy bins. I think NOT.

TR-0022b-like,
3-mode with memory

26111

DealExtreme

$3.36
(up from $2.94)

Buck driver

3.0-8.4 V 1 1-2x Li-ion 72-90%

1200 mA

3 17 mm - two boards in double layer A board purchased in March 2010 reported to be 5 mode and with a maximum output current 800-950 mA (compare with DX sku.26107) - buyer beware.

Unknown regulation method, assumed to be buck because of input voltage range. Driver chip is marked LEDA 0712. Three modes with memory; claimed high 1,200±100 mA, low 100±10 mA (bad flickering reported from very low speed PWM), fast strobe 650±50 mA. One reviewer mentioned the mode order is a crazy low, strobe, high. Output current may vary by battery voltage.

Claims to provide different current outputs (1-1.2 A) to different Cree efficacy bins. I think NOT.

TR-0022b-like,
5-mode with memory

26108

DealExtreme

$2.99

Buck driver

3.0-8.4 V 1 1-2x Li-ion  

1200 mA

5 17 mm - two boards in double layer Update June 2012: There may be a bad batch of these. They are reported here to eat LEDs.

Unknown regulation method, assumed to be buck because of input voltage range. Spec claims 5 modes (presumably using PWM), with memory; claimed high 1200±100 mA, mid 550±50 mA, low 100±10 mA, fast strobe 650±50 mA, SOS 1,200±100 mA. However, one user has posted that with 4x AA NiMH the steady modes were high 700 mA, medium 300 mA, low 60 mA (insufficient voltage?).

Claims to provide different current outputs (1-1.2 A) to different Cree efficacy bins. I think NOT.

TR-0166, 1A buck

237006

DealExtreme

$4.20

Buck driver

3.0-8.4 V 1 1-2x Li-ion  

1000 mA

3 17 mm 3 mode with memory; high, low, strobe (8 Hz). Polarity protected.

Zetex C310 Buck Driver, 8 mode

10421

DealExtreme

$7.35 for two pack
(sold out and/or discontinued)

Buck driver

3.7-8.4 V 1 3-6x NiMH, 1-2x Li-ion  

1000 mA

8 20 mm Buck regulator based on Zetex C310 chip and PWM for modes. Output 800-1000 mA on high. Modes 100%, 50%, 30%, 20%, 10%, SOS, strobe, fade in & out (one of very few to have that). With 4x NiMH cells the ability to select modes is lost about when the cells need to be recharged. No reverse polarity protection.

Notes

Footnotes & Instructions

  • Video Foundry/Aqualab does not sell any of these drivers. Links are provided to resellers.
  • Use the pop-up menus, check boxes, etc, in the second row of the table to filter the results.
  • Click on the links in the titles in the top row of the table to order the results by that information.
  • Results of searches can be bookmarked because all the search parameters are contained in the URL. (You can delete the parameters you don't want - for example, http://www.videofoundry.co.nz/ianman/laboratory/research/driverlist.php?sku=26110 brings up just that driver.)
  • All prices in US$ (except where dual prices are listed in US$ and € for some European retailers).
  • All driver boards from DealExtreme and KaiDomain include shipping.
  • Information is unfortunately not guaranteed to be correct. any updates, corrections, omissions, etc.
  • However, please don't bother sending me an email to tell me about your company's LED products. It will be treated as spam. I really don't like spam, and SpamCop is busy enough as it is without having to process your email as well. Putting "Re" in the front of your spam's subject does not make it any less likely your spam will be sent to SpamCop.
  • Recommended drivers highlighted in green. They have a good combination of price, features and efficiency.
  • Drivers no longer available (sold out or backordered) are highlighted in grey.
  • Recommended drivers no longer available are highlighted in a darker green.
  • Drivers listed at those resellers as "Backordered" etc for more than a month are deemed to be discontinued (although I'm happy to later be proven wrong).
  • Don't connect drivers that have capacitors across their outputs to LEDs while the driver is powered. An explanation (on CPF) why not.
  • No mains driver will be completely waterproof. Those that are water resistant mostly have an IP rating (eg, IP67).

Notes on AMC7135 linear regulator (click to expand/contract)

The AMC7135 (datasheet) is a linear regulator, which means it acts like a variable resistor changing its value to try to keep the current constant. Like a resistor, any dropped voltage is burnt off as heat. Boards include a polarity protection diode and can easily be PWM-driven for lower modes.

Vin must be at least 0.12 V above Vf of LED to stay in regulation, although they drop out of regulation quite gracefully, not suddenly. The graph in the AMC7135 datasheet (Jan 2006) has the 0.1 and 1 volt vertical lines missing. Each AMC7135 provides constant current, about 1/3 amp (actually 300-380 mA depending on particular version; I've generally assumed 330-335 mA for above listings). Boards come with one to eight AMC7135s, and single mode up to 20 mode. Boards can be paralleled to give greater output, or connected with one multimode board controller providing the modes for several boards.

The AMC7135 is very efficient when input voltage is close to output voltage but not particularly good when input voltage is significantly higher. Average efficiency for 3x NiMH or 1x Li-ion can be well over 90% with an LED with the right Vf. Test results and discussion for 3 and 4 chip boards.

Since the AMC7135 just burns off excess input volts as heat, the more volts fed into them the hotter they'll get. One guy claimed that his got so hot they slid right off the board (ie, >183-190 °C melting range of 60/40 solder). The AMC7135 has built-in thermal protection (which will cause dropouts or a flickering effect if it gets too hot) but the multi-mode control chips used on the multi-mode boards are much less rugged. (And here.) If using with an input voltage above 4.5 V or so you can expect them to get hot!

To get multiple modes typical microcontrollers used are the Atmel ATtiny13 (or 13A or 13V) and the Microchip PIC12F629. These both have a 5.5 V maximum, while the AMC7135 linear regulator has a 6.0 V maximum. This means that multimode drivers will have a slighty lower maximum voltage than single mode boards.

Tip 1: To get reliable operation at low voltages, especially with only one AMC7135 chip being used, you may need to short out (and maybe remove) the polarity protection diode(s)*. This is because the AMC7135 in series with a polarity protection diode needs a minimum 2.7 V + 0.6 V (silicon diode) = 3.3 V to stay in regulation. The Vf of LEDs at 330-350 mA can easily be quite a bit lower than 3.3 V so will not be running in regulation. Note that if a germanium or Schottky diode was used the drop could be as low as 0.3 V instead of 0.6 V.

* However, I found with one multimode board this caused the board to go unstable (don't know exactly why) but I found that inserting a small value resistor instead of the diode was enough to get the driver stable again. Because the drive current through that point in the circuit is so low (6 mA for mine) there's very little voltage drop across the resistor - much less than across the diode - so it still serves the purpose of saving ~0.6 V.

Tip 2: If the input voltage is too high you may be able to use another LED in series with the board to drop the voltage - it beats burning it all off as heat. (The set current is <1 mA for single mode boards so both LEDs will get practically identical current. Diagrams and much discussion of use with multiple Seoul P7s and multi-mode boards.) More than one extra LED appears to be not a good idea for use with the lower modes of multi-mode boards since the Vf of the extra LEDs decreases too much at the low current to protect the driver from the battery voltage. (Many of the multi-mode boards have a capacitor on the output.) Flashing modes appear unsuited to this technique.

AMC7135-based driver options are discussed here, or an inexpensive multimode AMC7135 driver here.

Notes on Schottky diodes (click to expand/contract)

Schottky diodes are diodes that have a low voltage drop across them. 0.3 V is a typical figure, compared to around 0.60-0.65 V for a typical silicon diode. This makes Schottky diodes good for rectifiers and LED drivers where high efficiency is required. Drivers that use the AX2002 such as DX 3256 can easily be modified for higher output current but the Schottky diode needs to be replaced if the output current is to exceed 1 A.

Inexpensive Schottky diodes are available from these sources:



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