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Constant Voltage LED Driver Selection: Factors to Consider

If your application involves building or installing LED luminaires or systems, you will need a driver to convert and supply the current. Some LED devices require a constant current power source while others — which usually have some means of current regulation already in the system — require a constant, or fixed, voltage. This blog post will cover the features and characteristics to look for when choosing a constant voltage LED driver. Typical applications for constant voltage LED drivers include architectural lighting, decorative lighting, outdoor LED signs and lighting, LED strips, displays, and various other DC output applications. If you're unsure if a constant voltage LED driver is needed for your application, check your LED light's datasheet.

When it comes to watts, the driver should have some excess capacity in order to ensure reliable operation. One rule of thumb is

LED Lighting

 to choose a driver with 20% more watts than the sum total number of watts for all the lights in the system. For voltage, make sure the driver's output voltage works with your system's voltage requirement — again summing up multiple lights — and that the driver's voltage can accept the local line voltage. In addition to these important constant voltage LED driver selection criteria, here are some other features and characteristics to consider:

  • Efficiency. Simply put, an efficient driver uses less power and saves energy. Look for an LED driver with a high efficiency percentage.
  • Power Factor measures the driver's ability to turn energy into useful power. On a datasheet, power factor is represented between 0 and 1.00 (100%). In most applications a power factor nearest to 1 is ideal, and many drivers may employ power factor correction methods to achieve a high power factor.
  • Protections. Built-in components and functions help prevent damage to the supply or its load in case of various power problems.
  • Compliance to local and international safety agency standards. Keep in mind certain standards exist for indoor and outdoor applications.
  • Dimming capability. If your application calls for dimmable LEDs, be sure that the driver offers the same means of dimming control that's specified in your light's datasheet.

The Right Supplier Will Make a Difference

Polytron Devices offers a diverse lineup of LED drivers in a broad range of power outputs — even as high as 480, 600 and 1,200watts — to satisfy most every indoor and outdoor LED lighting application. Features include programmable wattage and current, efficiencies as high as 92%, exceptional power factors and built-in protections such as over current, short circuit, open circuit and over temperature. Customers can choose PWM or 0-to-10V dimming capabilities or standard non-dimming units. The drivers are built to meet or carry certifications for international standards such as UL and CE, are IP67-rated for moisture, and they are able to meet IEC Class II shock requirements as well as Safety Extra Low Voltage (SELV) specifications. Polytron can satisfy monthly minimums of 100,000 units or more while providing timely delivery to fulfill your inventory requirements.

Your lighting system's performance depends on choosing the right LED driver. Once you consider your application and its wattage and voltage requirements, LED driver selection comes down to many factors. That's why it's important to work with an LED driver supplier that offers many options to meet customer requirements as well as the applicable regulations and standards. Polytron Devices has a wide range of LED power supplies to satisfy most any indoor or outdoor lighting application and a deep inventory so you can have the right driver for your LED lighting needs at the right time.