How to select an LED driver

First Thing 

There are two main kinds of drivers, low voltage DC input power (generally 5-36VDC) and high voltage AC input power (generally 90-277VAC). LED drivers that use high-voltage AC power are called Off-Line drivers, or AC LED drivers. In most applications using a low voltage DC input LED driver is recommended. Even if your input is high voltage AC, using an additional switching power supply will make it possible to use a DC input driver. Low voltage DC drivers are recommended as they are extremely efficient and reliable. For smaller applications there are more dimming and output options available compared to high voltage AC drivers so you have more to work with in your application. If you have a large general lighting project for residential or commercial lighting, however, you should see how AC drivers might be better for this type of job.

Second Thing

Secondly, you need to know the drive current that you want to put to the LED. Higher drive currents will result in more light from the LED, and will also require more wattage to run the light. It is important to know your LED’s specs so you know the recommended drive currents and heat sink requirements so you don’t burn the LED out with too much current or excess heat. Lastly, it is good to know what you are looking for from your lighting application. For example, if you want dimming then you need to choose a driver with dimming capabilities.

Third Thing

What type of power will be used? (DC, AC, batteries, etc.)

Running from AC? See how an AC driver will benefit you!

DC Dimming

Low voltage DC powered drivers can be easily dimmed in a couple different ways. The simplest dimming solution for these is using a potentiometer. This gives a full range of 0-100% dimming.Your second option for dimming is to use a 0-10V wall dimmer. This is the better way of dimming if you have multiple units, as the 0-10V dimmer can work with several drivers at a time. Just hook the dimming wires right to the input of the driver and you’re good to go.

AC Dimming

For high voltage AC power drivers there are a couple options for dimming as well depending on your driver. Many AC driver work with 0-10V dimming, like we went over above.

How many LEDs can you run with a driver?

The maximum number of LEDs you can run from a single driver is determined by dividing the maximum output voltage of the driver by the forward voltage of your LED(s). When using drivers, you determine the maximum output voltage by subtracting 2 volts from your input voltage. This is needed because the drivers need a 2 volt overhead to power the internal circuitry. For example, using the Wired 1000mA driver with a 24 volt input, you would have a maximum output voltage of 22 volts.

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