LED lights are an essential part of your home's lighting system. You install LED lights to maintain a comfortable environment in your home and ensure energy efficiency. According to the Department of Energy, LED lights consume 75% less electricity than incandescent lights. These lights are also 25 times more long-lasting than incandescent lights. However, drops in voltage can affect your home's LED lighting system. These lights require a consistent current flow to produce light without flickering or operating less brightly.
That is where LED drivers come into play. Today's article will discuss the different types of LED drivers and why you need them. Read on!
What is an LED Driver?
An LED driver is an electrical device or accessory that regulates power to LEDs in your home. It is an integral component of the LED circuit that ensures the system does not fail and produces constant lighting without consuming a lot of electricity.
You can invest in LED drivers to prevent thermal runaway and compensate for changes in the forward voltage to deliver a constant current to LED lights.
Common Types of LED Drivers
Choosing a suitable LED driver for your home's LED lighting system depends on various factors. These include the type and number of LED lights in the system, the milliampere rating of the lights, the LED driver's wattage, and the driver's output voltage.
Constant current and constant voltage are two common types of LED drivers. So, which one do you need? Let us delve into details and help you decide based on your requirements.
Constant Current LED Drivers
Do you have LED lights installed in your home, business, or commercial space? Do these LED lights or products require a steady current with varying voltages? If yes, you need a constant current LED driver to maintain a steady current flow and avoid damages caused by varying voltages.
The driver varies the voltage to ensure LED lights function properly without fluctuations in the current. Constant LED drivers have amperage ratings of 350 milliamps, 700mA, and 1amp.
For instance, if the voltage varies between 4 volts and 13 volts with a 50-watt load, you will need a standard configuration with a supply of 700 milliamps. Constant current LED drivers are compatible with backlighting for billboards, illuminating outdoor features, and HD displays used in commercial spaces.
Constant Voltage LED Drivers
Constant voltage is another type of LED driver that maintains a steady voltage, such as 10v, 12v, or 24v DC. These drives are suitable for LED lights arranged in a string or line. For instance, you can use lighting strips parallel to the LED driver.
In addition, constant voltage LED drivers have a separate resistor controlling the voltage for each LED in the line or strip. Most people also call it a "current limiting resistor."
On the other hand, you must choose a driver with a higher voltage for large-scale LED installations, such as multiple LED lights into different series-connected strings. These LED lights require hundreds of volts, so choose a compatible and appropriate driver to avoid the hassle.
Benefits of LED Drivers
LED drivers are necessary for maintaining your LED lighting system's functionality and lifespan. A high-quality LED driver rectifies or converts alternative current (AC) to direct current (DC) to operate LED lights.
Besides, installing an LED driver reduces the risk of fluctuations in voltage/current and prevents short circuit current. At the same time, it ensures the LED light remains operational because the driver supplies a constant current to the lights.
Installing an LED driver also reduces overheating and increases the lights' lifespan. Moreover, LED lights require DC to operate because they can't function on AC. Therefore, installing an LED driver is essential to optimizing the overall process.
LED drivers also act as protective equipment for your home's or business's LED lighting system, preventing them from flickering, burning, and getting damaged even if fluctuations occur in the voltage or current. This is because an LED driver is a bridge between your home's main power supply and LED lighting system, converting medium-to-high voltage AC into lower voltage DC.
However, it would help if you chose an LED driver compatible with your home's power supply. Different types of LED drivers are available for mains, such as 120V, 220V, 277V, and 480V.
Buying and installing high-quality LED drivers compatible with your LED lights or system offers numerous benefits, such as higher energy efficiency, greater flexibility, lower EMI, easy integration, better thermal management, eco-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness. Browse the Shine Retrofits website to choose high-quality LED drivers based on your requirements. Still have questions about LED drivers? Contact us today to speak with one of our helpful lighting professionals.