Tips of Choosing the Best LED Drivers
LED drivers are necessary for almost all LEDs because they will provide them with the right amounts of current for their best performance and functioning. The only thing you need to determine is whether your LEDs require external drivers or not. Depending on the configuration of your LED light source, you need to choose between constant-voltage and constant-current drivers. When you know about all this, you can then start looking for the right external drivers for your LED light source. Here are some of the things you will need to look at.
First, you need to look at the power requirements of that particular LED light source. For instance, you need to look at the voltage requirements of your LED. The voltage requirements of the LED will require external drivers with the same voltages. If you are looking for a constant-current driver, you need to consider the LED’s current output as well. In short, you need to be sure that the driver you choose will be able to achieve the power outputs within the specified ranges of the LED. For constant-current drivers, you have to consider both current and voltage ranges. However, for constant-voltage drivers, you should only consider the voltage ranges. Also, you must be aware that the driver you choose will have to accept the input voltage of the place where you shall be using that particular LED. This is in order to ensure that the drivers can step the power down to the right output voltages.
The other thing you need to consider the dimming. Both constant-voltage and current LEDs and the drivers can be developed with some dimming capabilities. However, before such assertions are made, there should be an indication on the datasheets specifying that those drivers or LEDs are dimmable. If such information isn’t available, you should assume that those devices aren’t dimmable. You should also consider the safety standards of those LED drivers. You need to look at the IP ratings which specify the driver’s environmental protection standards. The first digit on the IP ratings show the type of protection offered by the drivers against solid objects. Also, the second number shows the specific protection against water elements.
Finally, you should consider the efficiency levels of the LED drivers. Usually, efficiency is measured as a percentage and it shows the amount of input power that the external drivers can use to power the LED lights. In most cases, most drivers are 80-85% efficient. However, there are some drivers such as UL class 1 which are more efficient and which are capable of operating more LED lights. The power factor also has to be looked at during the selection of the LED drivers. The power load will tell you the amount of power loads which the drivers will put on the electrical network. When the power factor is close to positive 1, it means that driver is very efficient. Most drivers will have a power factor of 0.9 or even higher. However, if the power factor isn’t indicated on the drivers, it means that their power factor is lower than 0.9, hence less efficient.