LED drivers and LED power supplies are an extremely important part of the lighting products that you may be looking to purchase. LED drivers and LED power supplies provide power to your LED lighting so of course perform a key function. Therefore they should be of equally good quality to the LED lighting itself, but they are often overlooked.
LED Driver – Frequently Asked Questions
What is an LED driver?
An LED driver is a type of power supply made specifically for powering LED luminaires. They are also referred to as LED power supplies but there are important differences between an LED driver and a standard power supply as we will discuss below.
What is the difference between an LED driver and a Power Supply?
An LED driver has a fundamentally different design to many standard power supplies. They are designed to meet certain safety standards specific to lighting. Typical lighting safety standards are EN61347-1, EN61347-2-13. Standard power supplies are often approved to EN60950 which applies less stringent requirements. LED drivers manufactured to EN61347-1 and -2-13 have a creepage and clearance requirement of 6mm, where as standard power supplies to EN60950 have a creepage and clearance distance of 4mm / 5mm. This is just 1 difference between the two standards.
LED drivers can provide an output which is either constant voltage or constant current. A constant voltage LED driver provides a fixed regulated output voltage of 12vdc, or 24vdc for example that typically only fluctuates by + and – 5%. With constant voltage LED drivers, the current drawn can change anywhere up to its maximum, even slightly over – only limited by its over current protection circuit where the device has one. A constant current LED driver provides an output current that is fixed, only fluctuating by a small amount. Typical constant current outputs are 350mA, 500ma, 700ma, 1050ma, 1400ma but the current can be set to anything to accommodate design designs incorporating LEDs. With a constant current LED driver there is usually a voltage range provided, which the voltage moves between. For example an LED driver providing a constant current of 350mA rated to 21 Watts would have a voltage range of 9vdc to 48vdc
Why use an LED driver?
An LED driver has been engineered specifically for powering LEDs, and can therefore be run much closer to its maximum load. A standard power supply has usually been designed to power a range of equipment, most commonly ITE information technology equipment and therefore head room should be allowed of around 20% to ensure reliability. A standard switch mode power supply also usually has a very high inrush current which can trip circuit breakers where as an LED driver has a lower inrush current to help mitigate problems with the circuit breaker. Some power supplies and LED drivers can also feature ‘soft start’ which can help avoid tripping a circuit breaker
What types of LED driver are there?
We offer a wide range of constant current and constant voltage LED drivers. We supply AC phase cut drivers, also referred to as mains dimmable LED drivers. We also supply 0-10vdc dimmable, PWM dimmable and DALI dimmable LED drivers. We offer standard LED drivers for indoor use as well as harsh environment LED drivers rated to IP65 and IP67 for outdoor use.
If you have an LED driver requirement and you cannot find what you are looking for within the above ranges please contact us for assistance.