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Light expert info
Driver for LED lamps
Every LED requires an operating device (ballast). These are called drivers in the linguistic usage. In an LED, current can only flow in one direction (diode). When heated, the current and thus the power consumption in the LED can increase, which leads to further heating. If this is not limited, the LED destroys itself. Preventing this is one of the tasks of the driver.
LED modules can be operated with two different supply types depending on the circuit type:
- Constant current
- Constant voltage
Advantages of LED drivers
- Several LEDs can be connected to one power supply: this must then be powerful and the LEDs are connected in series. If you have several LED strips, you calculate the right driver based on the power per meter, for example. Several strips can also be connected to one power supply.
- When using LED drivers, you save energy - there is less power loss, for example due to the elimination of series resistors.
- LEDs connected to a driver shine absolutely flicker-free - even dimmed. A constant amount of current is continuously passed through the LED.
- Assemblies of LED lamps and drivers can be dimmed continuously from 0% to 100%. Several connected LEDs all shine with the same brightness.
Attention: LED drivers are often equated with LED transformers. While an LED driver as a constant current source has the task to transform the mains voltage into constant output current and to drive this through the LED, the transformer as a constant voltage source transforms the input voltage to a constant output voltage. Therefore, LED drivers always specify the output current (for example 350 mA), transformers the voltage (for example 12 V).
If you have any questions about the correct selection or connection of your LED drivers, please feel free to contact us.
The right LED driver
Normally, when you buy new LED luminaires, you don't have to worry about the right driver - it is already permanently installed in the luminaire and the modules may be connected directly to a fixed voltage.
Otherwise, a driver or even power supply must always be connected upstream, which regulates exactly how much current measured in amperes may flow at most. Usually, the corresponding value is given in milliamps (mA). This means that
1. the power of the LED illuminant must match the power of the LED driver and
2. the driver must supply the appropriate current in mA to the LED.