Constant Current USB-Controlled LED Driver

  • Driver for Mounted, Fiber-Coupled, and Collimated LEDs
  • Maximum LED Current: 1.2 A
  • LED Current Accuracy: ±(1% + 10 mA)
  • Controlled with USB
  • Ideal for OEM Applications


USB LED Driver with a Power Supply Adapter and a USB Type-A to Mini-B Cable

Application Idea

An M490L4 Mounted LED Driven with the UPLED Driver

Related Items

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LED Controller Selection Guide
Type Max Number
of LEDs
USB Compatible
upLED™ LED Driver 1 1.2 A N/A Yes Mounted
Fiber Coupled
PCB Mounteda
Compact T-Cube™ Driver 1 1.2 A 0 - 5 kHz No
4-Channel Driver 4 1 A 0 - 100 kHz Yes
Solis® LED Driver 1 10 A 0 - 1 kHz No High Power
High-Power Touchscreen Driver 1 10.0 A 0 - 250 kHz Yes High Power
Fiber Coupled
PCB Mounteda
  • Requires the CAB-LEDD1 cable.

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The connection channels help create a stable stack, which can include either the upLED (red housing) or upTEMP (green housing) devices.

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Connection channels at the corners of the upLED housing are included for easy stacking of modules.

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The main upSERIES software GUI displays the LED status and set current, as well as the voltage and current as measured by the upLED.


  • Constant Current LED Driver with USB 2.0 Interface
  • Internal Memory for Operation without USB Connection
  • Includes a Potentiometer for Current Adjustment
  • Reads Current Data Stored in the LED EEPROM
  • Compact Form Factor with Stacking Capability
  • USB 2.0 Type-A to Mini-B Cable with Locking Screw Included
  • Requires a 12 V, 1 A Power Supply
  • Includes upSERIES™ Software
    • User-Friendly Software GUI
    • Drivers for LabVIEW®, CVI, C, C++, and C# Programming Environments

Thorlabs' upLED™ LED Driver is a compact, USB-controlled driver for use with Thorlabs LEDs that feature an M8 x 1 circular connector. This constant-current driver can be controlled manually with a linear potentiometer or through the included upSERIES™ software, making it ideal for both laboratory and factory environments.

Each upLED driver controls a single LED. To retain the compact footprint (86.7 mm x 52.5 mm) of a single unit while controlling several LEDs, the upLED housing has been designed with connection channels at the corners, which help create a stable assembly of devices. The upLED can also be conveniently stacked up with a upTEMP™ multichannel USB temperature logger to monitor temperature. The two devices feature the same stackable housing and can be simultaneously controlled using the upSERIES Software interface.

A user-assembled power supply is required to operate the upLED driver. Each driver ships with a power supply adapter, into which the user can insert two 0.5 mm2 wires that provide at least 1 A at 12 V. This adapter plugs into a receptacle on the rear panel that is shown in the Front & Back Panels tab. To protect against polarity reversal of the power supply and adapter connections, the upLED features input polarity protection; the upLED will not be destroyed, but it will not drive the connected LED.

Please note that while the upLED can draw some power from the USB connection, this is only used to operate the microprocessor, which enables the software GUI to show whether a power supply is available and to read out data from the connected LED. The LED cannot be powered by the USB connection.

LED Compatibility
The upLED driver is designed for use with Thorlabs LEDs that feature M8 x 1 circular connectors, including select models of our Mounted, Fiber-Coupled, and Collimated LEDs. This driver automatically adjusts the maximum current setting based on the information stored in the EEPROM chip, protecting the connected LED. PCB Mounted LEDs can also be driven with the upLED driver when used with the CAB-LEDD1 LED connection cable. Alternative LEDs can also be used, provided they have an M8 x 1 connector (see Pin Diagrams tab) and meet the specifications listed on the Specs tab. Note that the current limit will automatically be set to 1.2 A for these LEDs unless a lower value is specified in the software GUI.

Back Panel
The upLED driver features a USB 2.0 Type Mini-B interface, which connects the device with a computer running the upSERIES software. A USB-ABL-60 USB 2.0 type-A to mini-B cable is included with each device and this cable features a locking screw to prevent accidental disconnections. 

A status LED indicator is included on the back panel to easily identify the operation status of the device. When the LED indicator is green, the power supply is available, and an LED is connected and turned on; the LED blinks green when the connected LED is switched off. The indicator LED can also appear yellow or blink yellow, red, and green; these respectively signify that a power supply is available but an LED is not connected and the upLED is connected to an LED and PC but not to a power supply. Additional colors can also appear for special states; see the device manual for more details.

PC Control and Software
The upLED driver is controlled via a USB 2.0 connection and can be controlled through the upSERIES software. The software GUI displays the status of the LED and the current set point, as well as the measured voltage and current as reported by the upLED. When a Thorlabs LED is used, the current limit is automatically set using the information provided by the EEPROM. For more information on the upSERIES software features, please see the Software tab.

Note: The software includes an option that automatically repowers the LED after connecting a power supply, which allows the LEDs to power-up immediately without any safety notice. Always direct LEDs away from persons and reflecting surfaces prior to powering up the upLED.

Manual Control
The upLED can also control LEDs without the upSERIES software. If the "Repower LED after Power Cycle" setting is selected in the software, the LEDs can be started automatically after connection to a power supply, and the current applied depends on the software settings. If the current source is set to "Potentiometer", the LED lights up with the current set by the potentiometer value at the moment of power-up. However, when the current source is set to "User-defined", the LED lights up with the user-defined current set in the software and written to the upLED memory. See the Software tab for more details.

LEDs can also be manually controlled by using the POWER dial, i.e., a potentiometer, on the upLED; please see the Front & Back Panels tab for the location of this dial. The current is linearly increased by turning the power dial clockwise, and the maximum current is set by the current limit in the software or read out from the LED EEPROM. Note that if a Thorlabs LED is not used, the current limits is set to the maximum current of the upLED (1.2 A).

Compatible Thorlabs LEDs
(Click for Link)
Mounted LED Fiber-Coupled LED Collimated LED Metal-Core PCB LED
LED Description Mounted Fiber Coupled Collimated PCB Mounteda
  • Requires the CAB-LEDD1 cable.
Item # UPLEDa
Constant Current LED Driver Specifications
LED Current (Max) 1.2 A
LED Forward Voltage (Max) 8 V
LED Current Setting Resolution 1 mA
LED Current Setting Accuracy ±(1% + 10 mA)
Noise and Ripple (1 Hz to 10 MHz, RMS) 0.5 mA
Measurement Specifications
LED Current Measurement Resolution 1 mA
LED Current Measurement Accuracy ±(0.5% + 10 mA)
LED Voltage Measurement Resolution 10 mV
LED Voltage Measurement Accuracy ±(1% + 50 mV)
General Specifications
Input Voltage 12 V ± 5%
Digital Control Interface Lockable Mini USB Connector
USB Protocol USB 2.0 (USB CDC Class Device)
Manual Control Interface Linear Power Potentiometer
Operating Temperature Range 0 to 40 °C
Storage Temperature Range -40 to 70 °C
Warm-Up Time for Rated Accuracy 10 Minutes
Dimensions (W x H x D) 93.2 mm x 27.0 mm x 52.5 mm (3.67" x 1.06" x 2.07")
Weight 70 g
Power Supply Specifications
DC Ouput 12 V
Min Output Current 1 A
  • All technical data are valid at 23 ± 5 °C and 45 ± 15% relative humidity (non-condensing).
upLED Front Panel
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upLED Housing Front Panel Features
upLED™ USB LED Driver Front Panel
Callout Description
1 M8 x 1 Circular LED Connector
2 Potentiometer for Current Adjustment
upLED Rear Panel
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upLED Housing Rear Panel Features
upLED USB LED Driver Rear Panel
Callout Description
1 Receptacle for Power Supply Adapter
2 Status LED
3 Lockable USB 2.0 Type Mini-B Connector

Female M8 x 1 Circular LED Connector

PINout details for LED connector

Pin Description
1 LED Anode
2 LED Cathode

2-Connection Power Supply Adapter Receptacle

PIN details for power supply adapter

Pina Description
2 +12 V
  • The upLED driver features input polarity protection for the connection between the power supply and power supply adapter.
Recommended System Requirements
Operating System Windows® 8.1 (64 Bit),
Windows® 10 (64 Bit, Recommended)
Processor (CPU) 1 GHz
Memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard Drive 200 MB (Min) of Available Disk Space
Graphics Card
1280 x 768 (Min)
Interface Free USB 2.0 Port


Version 1.2

The upSERIES software includes a GUI for control of Thorlabs' upTEMP USB Temperature Data Logger and upLED LED Driver. To download, click the button below.

Software Download

upSERIES™ Software

The upSERIES Software is designed for straight forward use with the upTEMP™ Multichannel USB Temperature Logger and the constant current upLED™ LED Driver. The upSERIES Software can be used with several upTEMP and upLED models in parallel, allowing for complex setups.

Instrument drivers for LabVIEW®, CVI, C, C++, and C# are installed with the software for user-defined applications; refer to the manual for details.



upTEMP™ USB Temperature Data Logger

With the upSERIES software package, the temperature measurements detected by negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistors or resistive temperature detector (RTD) sensors can be monitored, saved, and evaluated using the intuitive, easy-to-use graphical interface. Ideal for complex systems, this software can be used to measure signals from multiple upTEMP modules, and each module can handle up to eight NTC thermistors or four RTD sensors. Data can be saved to the internal memory of the upTEMP device or to the PC.

The GUI features a configuration section, which allows the user to edit measurement parameters, including sensor type, temperature offset, and measurement delay. For real-time temperature monitoring, there is an option to display temperature measurements graphically in a time trace. Data analysis options, such as displaying single temperature values, are also included. Data saved to the PC will be saved as a .csv file with the following information: time and date; sensor type and number (according to list in the software); temperature scale; and calculated and displayed temperature values.

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The upSERIES software automatically recognizes a connected upTEMP temperature logger. The connected upTEMP device is listed in the left panel and configuration options are on the right. The center panel shows the temperature readings for each connected temperature sensor.

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The category, which is based on the resistance at 0 °C (labelled as PTxxx), and the calibration curve can be set for connected RTD sensors.

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For connected NTC thermistors, the temperature coefficents and operating temperature ranges can be set. The Thermistor Model Manager also allows new NTC thermistors to be added, and they can be configured using the Steinhart-Hart equation or beta function.

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Measurement parameters can be configured in the right panel of the main GUI screen. Measurement delay, which is the update rate of the measured data on the screen, can be set, as well as the data set name. Also, options for saving the data can be set in this panel.

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The live data can be displayed in the main GUI window. Also available are basic data analysis tools, including the capability to zoom into data sets and read the temperature for single data points. Time references for each data point can also be read out.


upLED™ Constant Current USB LED Driver

When using the upSERIES Software with the constant current upLED™ LED Driver, the forward current can be precisely set and saved for later applications. Additionally, software configurations allow the use of LEDs without Thorlabs EEPROMs, as well as automatic power-up options. This software can be used to drive multiple upLED modules and each upLED can drive a single LED.

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The upSERIES software automatically recognizes a connected upLED LED driver, provided an LED and power supply are already connected. The connected upLED is listed on the left panel, while the right panel shows configuration options. The LED status and current set point are shown in the center panel, as well as the measured voltage and current as reported by the upLED.

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Additional information about each setting can be found by clicking on the blue icon next to the setting. The upLED can be set up for more hands-off operation; LEDs can automatically power on after connection to a power supply (see center image) or repower after being disconnected and reconnected. If an LED is disconnected during operation, the internal memory of the upLED will immediately resupply the next-connected LED with the last set of parameters.

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The configuration window allows the user to customize the upLED driver settings. Ideal for Thorlabs LEDs, the current limit is automatically set by the LED EEPROM. To use non-Thorlabs LEDs, toggle the switch under Thorlabs EEPROM Technology and set the current limit. The current source can be set as either the potentiometer or user-defined. 

Posted Comments:
user  (posted 2021-08-08 03:04:19.877)
Is it possible to use upLED with LED255J UV diode I already had in my lab?
dpossin  (posted 2021-08-09 07:22:07.0)
Dear Pawel, Thank you for your feedback. The upLED can be used with any LED which do not exceed the maximum current it can provide. Therefore the LED255J can be driven by the upLED using the connection cable CAB-LEDD1. I am reaching out to you in order to provide further information on that.

USB-Controlled LED Driver

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UPLED Support Documentation
UPLEDCustomer Inspired! USB-Controlled LED Driver, 1.2 A Max, 8 V Max
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