What’s an LED Driver?
LED driver are simply power supplies that provide the bulbs with the electricity they need to function. They’re similar to a ballast for fluorescent lamps or transformers for low-voltage bulbs. LEDs are powered by low-voltage direct current so they need drivers to convert alternating current to direct current and to keep the voltage flowing through an LED circuit at the rated level that the LED requires.
When Should I Use an LED Drivers?
Many LED light bulbs, like household bulbs, have a built-in driver so they don’t need an external one. LEDs that generally need an external driver include cove lighting, LED panels and tape light. Usually a driver is included with LED lighting as part of the assembly. You may also need to purchase a replacement LED driver when it looks like an LED fails before its rated lifetime. When an LED fixture or LED tube fails prematurely, it is often the fault of the driver. Even though there’s no visual indication that the driver is failing, replacing LED drivers can save you the hassle and cost of unnecessarily replacing perfectly good LED bulbs.
Signs You Need to Replace Your LED Drivers.
Since LED drivers often have shorter lifespans than the LED array or fixture it's paired with, you should check for signs the driver is failing before replacing the lights. Normally, a failed LED driver will just stop transmitting power, but a failing driver may just not regulate power the way it should. The two major signs your drivers are failing overdriving and underdriving. Overdriving is when the driver is sending more power through the LEDs than they can handle. This can cause overheating or premature failure of the LED array. Underdriving is the opposite. The driver is sending less power to the LED lights which causing decrease light quality and output.
Types of LED Drivers
We stock the two main types of LED drivers: constant current and constant voltage. Each type is designed to operate LEDs with different electrical requirements. If you’re replacing a driver, be sure to match the old driver’s input and output requirements as closely as possible when choosing a replacement. It’s important to adjust the output current of the new LED driver which affects the lumen output and thermal performance of the luminaire. Tuning is performed on an LED replacement driver in order for the luminaire to perform as originally manufactured and match others in the same spaces. We have the technology in house to program your new drivers to ensure that they match the ones that are still working fine. If you’re seeing a change in the brightness of your LEDs, give us a call to find out how we can help tune your drivers.