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Discuss Lighting / led questions in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Before i start this post i would like to mention that im new to the industry, training and attending college.

In simple terms, what is a led driver use for and how do i know if its required? How do you choose the right one?

Designing lighting...ive come across alot of lighting whilst working outside which is designed to be plugged in, how do you determine which lighting is designed to be plugged in and which is designed to be hardwired to the lighting circuit?


Thanks
 

Lucien Nunes

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An LED driver is an electronic power supply unit not unlike a transformer or laptop charger, but specifically designed for LED usage. It takes in 230V AC and powers the LEDs.

Unlike traditional filament lamps, all LED chips themselves operate at very low voltage - around 3V DC per chip. Sometimes the electronics to produce the appropriate voltage and regulate the current are built into the lamp or the fixture. E.g. 230V bayonet-cap LED 'light bulbs' have a simple circuit within the lamp cap.

Other LED products use either a constant DC voltage such as 12 or 24V, or a constant current such as 350mA. For these a separate driver of the appropriate type is needed. For constant current fixtures, the current rating of the driver must match that of the LEDs and the power rating of the LEDs must fall within the range for which the driver is suitable. For constant voltage fixtures, the voltage rating of the driver must match that of the LEDs and the power rating of the LEDs must not exceed the power rating of the driver.

Plug-in lighting products are usually intended for the user to fit and may not be intended for permanent installation. However, if such a product is to be permanently installed, it is often possible to replace the plug-in driver with a surface-mounted type with input terminals for fixed wiring, of the same output specification.
 

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