Low Current LEDs
Good for Use As Indicator Lamps

LED indicator lamps do not need to use 10-20 mA.
These can use merely .2 to 3 milliamps!

Updated 8/12/2020.

Green indicator LEDs in stock at Digi-Key with status of active, with performance specified at 2 to 20 mA, and wavelength indicating InGaN chemistry which favors very high efficiency at low current. Ones rated 40 mcd or more should have intensity of at least 6 mcd at 1 mA and at least 15 mcd at 2 mA. One item has typical forward voltage drop noted as 2.1 volts at 2 mA, I believe it is 2.5 to 2.75 volts at 2 mA.

Blue "standard" indicator LEDs in stock at Digi-Key with status of active, with performance specified at 2-20 mA. Ones with voltage rating less than 3.5 volts have InGaN chemistry which favors very high efficiency at low current. Such ones rated 15 mcd or more should have intensity of at least 2.2 mcd at 1 mA and at least 5.5 mcd at 2 mA.

Indicator LEDs in stock at Digi-Key with status of active, with performance specified at .5 to 2 mA.

Update 7/26/2020: "Straw hat" LLEDs generally have a wide viewing angle of 80-110 degrees and InGaN green ones are typically useful at low currents of .5 milliamp or less, even if they are from cheap suppliers.


My "Short List" of LEDs useful as indicator lamps at .2-2 milliamps, maybe much less for green ones. (Updated 8/12/2020)

Good reasons to use such LEDs, as well as additional specific part numbers including yellow ones.

Link to pulsing circuits for extreme LED efficiency at extreme low average currents. Most LEDs have best efficiency when instantaneous current is 1-10 mA, and pulsing circuits achieve optimization of efficiency when average current is .04 - 1 mA. Also mentioned is one LED with efficiency so good at extreme low current that pulsing may not have much benefit.


Written by Don Klipstein.

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