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The photodiode that looks like an LED acts like a light dependent current source when wired reverse biased. It limits current through it and series components based on how much light is falling on it, regardless of voltage as long as their is enough to provide that amunt of power.
Note: The BPW34 silicon PIN photodiode acts more like a mini solar panel.
The amount of current that a photodiode will let flow through it is determined by how much light is falling on it. I add a series resistor based on the voltage I will apply to reduce the chance that the photodiode will exceed it’s wattage rating. The series resistor shouldn’t change the current if the resistor is a low enough value.
BPW34 photodiode videos:
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