Think of an LED driver as a power regulator. To be more precise, it regulates and supplies the ideal current to LED bulbs. It ensures that the current and voltage that LED light bulbs receive always remain within their operating range, regardless of any fluctuations in the main supply.
Long story short, LED light drivers are used for directing the right amount of electricity to LED light bulbs.
Why Do We Need LED Drivers?
LED lights need a constant direct current of either 24v or 12v. This range is lower than the voltage supplied by the mains power supplies. For this very reason, all LEDs require an LED driver.
LED light drivers ensure the LEDs receive the correct amount of electricity, preventing burnout and promoting longevity.
What are the different types of LED drivers?
LED light drivers are basically of two types:
1. Internal LED drivers
Generally used with domestic LED light bulbs, internal LED light drivers are housed in the same case as the LED bulbs.
2. External LED drivers
Yes, you guessed it right. These are housed separately. External LED light drivers are commonly used for roadways and commercial and outdoor lighting applications. These lights need separate drivers that are both cheaper and easy to replace.
External drivers are further split into two categories:
Constant current driver
Constant voltage driver
Are LED Drivers Necessary?
Yes, they are. LEDs are not designed to function on AC. That means without an LED driver, the LED will not work. In addition, the LED driver protects the LED from overheating. In the absence of an LED driver, LED light bulbs would simply burn and in turn, become useless.
How to buy an LED Driver?
When shopping for an LED driver, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Constant Current/Constant Voltage
For high-power LEDs, you may want to consider constant current LED drivers.
If you use low-power LED bulbs (or LED strips), you may be better off purchasing constant-voltage LED drivers or constant current as specified by the supplier.
2. LED Voltage
Make sure the voltage of the LED driver matches the voltage of the LED light.
3. LED Current
Make sure the specific output current of the LED driver matches the forward current of the LED.
4. Dimming Capability
You can adjust the brightness level in the case of dimmable LED lights. If you are using a dimmable LED, make sure you go for a dimmable LED driver, i.e., an LED driver with dimmable capabilities.