The electrical and optical characteristics of a high-power UV light emitting diode (LED) (365 nm wavelength) were evaluated under pulsed operating conditions at current amplitudes several orders of magnitude beyond the LED's manufacturer specifications. Geared towards triggering of photoconductive semiconductor switches (PCSSs) for pulsed power applications, measurements were made over varying pulse widths (25 ns-100 μs), current (0 A-250 A), and repetition rates (single shot-5 MHz). The LED forward voltage was observed to increase linearly with increasing current (∼3.5 V-53 V) and decrease with increasing pulse widths. The peak optical power observed was >30 W, and a maximum system efficiency of 23% was achieved. The evaluated LED and auxiliary hardware were successfully used as the optical trigger source for a 4H-SiC PCSS. The lowest measured on-resistance of SiC was approximately 67 kΩ.