Mean Well driver tutorial with CXB3590


Which Mean Well driver, how many CREE CXB3590 LEDs and how much wattage per LED?

This is a question often asked by beginners taking their first steps with LED technology. To help you out we’re posting a Mean Well driver tutorial. We’ll have a look at the different drivers, how many LEDs they support and what the name codes can tell you.

Mean Well drivers and name codes

Mean Well drivers are available in different variants. Since there too many variants to cover all of them in detail we will focus on the most important differences. We usually offer Mean Well’s HLG series which is verified for international use. Using the HLG 120H C1400B as an example we’ll start by explaining the name code:


Under number 1 you’ll find the name of the model. Next to HLG drivers we also offer ELG and LPC models. Under number 2 you’ll find information on rated power given in Watt (120). The “H” stands for high voltage input. Number 3 highlights a “C” and refers to constant current, the “1400” specifies the amperage in mA. Number 4 finally specifies the driver variant. We have two of those variants in stock. Variant A supports an internal dimmer. Using a small potentiometer the dimmer can be adjusted between 50-100%. Variant B supports a 3in1 dimmer-port. You can connect an external 100kOhm potentiometer, an external 1-10V dimmer or an 10V PWM signal.

Amperage in milliampere – how much wattage per LED?

In theory a CXB3590 will take up to 130 watts if you provide enough cooling. In practice, however, is much more efficient not to max out the chip’s capacity. So how does it work with wattage per chip?

The CREE CXB3590’s electrical power is dependent on the strength of the current with wich it is powered. Here is an example:

2100mA = ~75W per CXB3590 Chip 36V
1400mA = ~50W per CXB3590 Chip 36V
1050mA = ~38W per CXB3590 Chip 36V
700mA = ~25W per CXB3590 Chip 36V

All drivers offer the option of dimming to at least 50% of the power and so halving the performance per CXB3590. Using the driver from our example we could decide on any value between 1400mA (50W per chip) and 700mA (25W per chip).

How many LEDs can I power with a driver?

This depends on the driver model, which is why there are so many different models. The reasonable thing to do is to max out the driver’s capacities because this will maximize its efficiency. Depending on the number of LED-chips, that is to what degree its capacity is maxed out out, its efficiency level will be higher or lower. Have a look at the example to the right. Accordingly the aim of your set up should be to minimize losses through electric parts. In the following table we’ve listed the drivers suitable for the CREE CXB3590 LED chip we have in stock.

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Source: MeanWell data sheet HLG 120H C page 6
driver modelvoltage rangeLED chipsmax. wattageefficiency

HLG 60H-36A33V-40V1x CXB3590 36V60Watt90%

HLG 120H-C1400A/B54V-108V2x CXB3590 36V100Watt92,5%
HLG 120H-C1400A/B54V-108V3x CXB3590 36V150Watt93,5%

HLG 185H-C1400A/B71V-143V2x CXB3590 36V100Watt93%
HLG 185H-C1400A/B71V-143V3x CXB3590 36V150Watt93,5%
HLG 185H-C1400A/B71V-143V4x CXB3590 36V200Watt94%

HLG 320H-C1400A/B114V-229V4x CXB3590 36V200Watt94%
HLG 320H-C1400A/B114V-229V5x CXB3590 36V250Watt94%
HLG 320H-C1400A/B114V-229V6x CXB3590 36V300Watt94%

ELG 150-C2100A/B36V-72V1x CXB3590 36V75Watt89%
ELG 150-C2100A/B36V-72V2x CXB3590 36V150Watt91%

To calculate the number of chips per driver, start with the output voltage. If we stick with our example from above, the driver delivers an output voltage of 54V-108V. Since the chips we want to use need 36V we can divide the driver’s output voltage by 36V. As the example driver provides a minimum of 54V, we can’t connect a single CREE CXB3590 because the driver provides too much power for one chip. If we connect two LED chips, however, we need 72V which is well within the scope provided by the driver. Finally, to max out the driver’s capacities we will have to connect three Cree chips adding up to 108V.

These are the most important things to know about the Mean Well drivers you can find in our shop. If you have any questions just write them in the comments or contact our support via mail.

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