can electrostatic discharge from dry weather short out LED light?

picard

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can electrostatic discharge from dry weather short out LED light?
 

Carpenter

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Not an expert, but I would think if the light was direct driven, a "zap" would fry the LED. To answer your question about an LED with a driver attached to it, my guess would be the driver would take the brunt of it and depending on how much gets through the driver, the emitter may survive or may not.
 

JWP_EE

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In all the flashlights I own the path of discharge would have to be through the body. There would be very little or no voltage potential across or current through the electronics so no way to do any damage.
 

Yoda4561

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I would think it would be much like computer chips, except a lone diode by itself is far more robust than a sensitive processor. It would take a BIG esd and a bare LED not mounted to anything to cause damage.
 

MrGman

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Electrostatic discharge can damage any semiconductor chip if it gets directly to the chip where it can breakdown internal gate oxide separations between active areas. The problem is how do you get the static discharge inside of enclosed flashlight housing that is all metal. If you are handling the flashlight in a dry environment and you are wearing clothing that helps to build a static charge like polyester, nylon, silk and you hold the flashlight and discharge it to something, it discharges to and through the metal housing and would have no real path to get to the driver chip or the LED chip.

Lets say your walking across a nice nylon carpet in your socks late at night with flashlight in hand, you are building up a wonderful charge, you touch the door handle with the flashlight and you actually see a little bit of corona discharge. You could have easily just discharged 5 to 10 K volts (with very little current behind it). But all of that would have gone from you through the metal body of the flashlight to the doorknob and you wouldn't feel it and the electronics in the flashlight should not have seen anything either. It should have all gone through the housing.

If you have a plastic housing flashlight the discharge would have to go through a very strong insulator to get to anything inside, which it would not it, would go from you to the doorknob and then you would feel it.

Now if for some strange reason your playing with an open LED pill or driver and your walking around on the carpet building a static charge and you go and touch that pill and especially the positive battery terminal, you could couple that charge into the driver chip. That might damage it or it may not get past the inductor/capacitor components without bleeding off first.

If you are in a place were you know you are constantly building up a charge and zapping yourself every time you touch metal, like the doorknob or car door in the garage, don't play with exposed electronic components until you discharge yourself to some grounded metal intentionally like the kitchen faucett.

The human body wearing synthetic clothing and walking around on carpeting can easily generate up to 50KV as in 50 thousand volts. The drier the air is the more the charge will build and hold. Moist air tends to dissipate the charge gradually and continuously.
 
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