Bipolar LED Driver Circuit

Bipolar LED Driver Circuit can be implemented using 8051 Microcontroller. A Bipolar LED is different from a regular Bi-color LED in the sense that a Bipolar LED has only two leads whereas a regular Bi-color LED has three leads. 


A Bi color LED is a special type of LED which consists of two diodes connected in inverse direction to each other inside a package. A bi color LED generally consists of three terminals – a common pin and two separate pins. The common pin can be connected to ground if it is a common cathode LED or connected to +5V supply, if it is a common anode. However, there is another type of bi color LED with two terminals called the Bipolar LED.

The device functions as per the positive signal given to one of the terminals. For instance for a green and red bi color LED, a positive signal at the green terminal and negative signal at red terminal ensures the green LED to be forward biased and red LED to be reverse biased. This causes the green light to flash. Same is the case for the red LED.

However, if both the terminals are given negative signals, neither of the diodes would conduct and the device would remain off.  If positive signal is applied to both the terminals, a different color, based on the combination of the LED colors, would flash.

The following is the image of a red – green Bipolar LED. It looks like a regular LED.

In this project, a simple bi color LED driver circuit using an 8051 Microcontroller is designed. The LED used here has a forward voltage drop of 2.2V and hence can be biased using a 5V supply. The control is done by the microcontroller program, based on the inputs given from two push buttons.


Principle behind Bipolar LED Driver Circuit

The circuit uses a microcontroller to drive the bipolar LED. The input command is given from the two push buttons and based on the inputs; the microcontroller is configured to send appropriate HIGH or LOW signals to the two output pins. These output pins are connected to the terminals of the bi-polar LED.

Components Required

  • 8051 Microcontroller (AT89C51 is used here)
  • Programmer for 8051 Microcontroller
  • 0592 MHz Crystal
  • Capacitors – 2 X 33pF, 10µF
  • Resistors – 150Ω, 10KΩ X 2
  • Push Buttons X 3
  • Bipolar LED (two leads)
  • Connecting Wires
  • Breadboard
  • Power Supply


Working of Bipolar LED Driver Circuit

Once the circuit is switched on, the microcontroller continuously scans the input pins at port P0. Suppose the first button (P0.6) is pressed, the microcontroller receives a low logic signal at the corresponding input pin and accordingly it assigns a high logic signal to pin P0.0 and low logic signal to pin P0.1. This causes the red light of the LED to glow.

Now when the second button is pressed, the microcontroller will accordingly assign a low logic signal to the pin P0.0 and a high logic signal to pin P0.1. This causes the green light to glow.

The LED stays on until the button is released.

Bipolar LED Driver Applications

  1. This circuit can be used for indication purposes.
  2. This circuit can be used at applications where flashing of light is required, as in beacon flashing.

Limitations of Bipolar LED Driver Circuit

  1. The main limitation of the project is not in terms of the functionality but rather the availability of the Bipolar LEDs.

  • Bipolar-LED-Driver-Circuit-Diagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *