I am new to this forum & in need of some help and advice. i have a car LED light unit which consists of 3 high power LEDs. It's a factory sealed unit and I dont know the exact spec of each LED. The unit has a sticker on it that says 12V 6.5W. The 3 LEDs on the unit are wired up in parellel and not in series. The problem is that the unit requires a power supply that costs a fortune (almost 200 bucks). I cannot really justify spending that kind of money on a power supply at the moment.
So i decided to test the LED unit by plugging it in directly to an indoor mains operated PSU. This PSU has a sticker on it that says the output is 12V 300mA. I also hooked up a multimeter inline to see how much current the LED unit draws from the PSU and when I turn it on the multimeter reads 1.15. So I am assuming that 1.15A is the max the unit draws. The thing is I do not want to power the LED's with max current because the unit also costs a fortune so i dont want to risk over driving them and burning them out. Previously I used a 750mA constant current driver on another exact same unit and eventually after 3 days the unit stopped working because it got too hot and blew. So this time I purchased a small 12V Constant Current LED Driver that outputs 10V 350mA. I then hooked this driver to my PSU and powered the LED unit via the driver with the multimeter still plugged in and this time the multimeter read 0.42. The light output hasnt been severly effected and is still very bright for my requirement.
My questions are:
- Will this 10V 350mA constant current driver do the trick, instead of having to buy the OEM power supply that costs 200 bucks? if so what can be so special about the OEM power supply that they justify charging so much for (i think maybe it also provides some kind of CANBUS feature which I do not need)?
- I will also use an inline fuse, so what happens in the event that the driver fails? I'm assuming the fuse will save the LED unit by blowing the fuse instead of the LEDs?
- I am assuming that by providing lower current to the unit, its safer for the LED. Is this correct?
- Finally, the sticker of the LED unit says 12V 6.5W, by using this lower 0.42 current, how much wattage am I actually powering the LED with instead?
Many thanks in advance