LED / Light - Power Supplies
What Is An LED Driver?
Due to increasing energy regulations, most people are familiar by now with the long life spans and
energy savings associated with LEDs, or light-emitting diodes. However, many are not aware that these
innovative light sources require specialized devices called LED drivers to operate. LED drivers (also
known as LED power supplies) are similar to ballasts for fluorescent lamps or transformers for lowvoltage
bulbs: they provide LEDs with the electricity they require to function and perform at their best.
LEDs require drivers for two purposes:
1. LEDs are designed to run on low voltage (12-24V), direct current electricity. However, most
places supply higher voltage (120-277V), alternating current electricity. An LED driver rectifies
higher voltage, alternating current to low voltage, direct current.
2. LED drivers also protect LEDs from voltage or current fluctuations. A change in voltage could
cause a change in the current being supplied to the LEDs. LED light output is proportional to its
current supply, and LEDs are rated to operate within a certain current range (measured in
amps). Therefore, too much or too little current can cause light output to vary or degrade faster
due to higher temperatures within the LED.
In summary, LED drivers convert higher voltage, alternating current to low voltage, direct current. They
also keep the voltage and current flowing through an LED circuit at its rated level.
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