Every LED Light Source Requires A Driver


An LED driver is needed to run LED's properly. Unlike m […]

An LED driver is needed to run LED's properly.

Unlike most electronic devices, LED's are current driven devices, not voltage driven ones. Even a minuscule change in voltage can lead to a huge change in current. Hence, it is important that the drive current is regulated and not the voltage.

LED drivers are electrical devices that regulate the power that an LED or a string of LEDs is exposed to. It responds to the varying needs of an LED circuit by delivering aconstant quantity of power to the LED while its electrical properties vary with temperature. LED drivers are self-contained power supplies that have outputs that match the electrical characteristics of the LED they power. They may offer dimming through pulse width modulation circuits. They may also have more than achannel for separate control of individual LEDs or LED arrays. In the absence of theproper LED driver, LEDs may become very hot hence unstable resulting in poor performance or even failure.

LED drivers are usually switching mode devices that convert the input voltage (Typically 120-220 VAC or 12 VDC) into a voltage at which the current drawn by the LED's is equal to its drive current. The drive current is regulated for optimum brightness, led service life, and battery life. A drive current lower than the maximum drive current of an LED can greatly prolong service and battery life.

Due to increasing energy regulations, most people are familiar by now with the long life spans and energy savings associated with LEDs, or light-emitting diodes. However, many are not aware that these innovative light sources use specialized devices called LED drivers to operate. LED drivers (also known as LED power supplies) are similar to ballasts for fluorescent lamps or transformers for low-voltage bulbs: they provide LEDs with the correct power supply to function and perform at their best.

When you Need an LED Driver?

Every LED light source requires a driver. The question should be whether or not you need to purchase one separately. Some LEDs already include an integrated driver within the bulb. LEDs designed for household use (bulbs with E26 / E27 or GU24 / GU10 bases and that run on 120V) typically already include a driver. However, low voltage LED light sources, such as some MR- bulbs (MR GU5.3s, MR8s, and MR11s) and tape light, as well as certain fixtures, panels, or outdoor-rated lights, usually require a separate driver. When an LED that requires a separate driver stops working before the end of its rated lifetime, it can usually be saved if the driver is replaced.