LED drivers are intrinsic to the functioning of LEDs, and contribute to the huge difference between the way LEDs work and incandescent or fluorescent lights work. Quite simply put, LEDs function on low voltage direct current, whereas all residences and commercial establishments receive high voltage alternating current. The LED drivers convert the power to the desired type and range and ensure that the LEDs are protected from sudden fluctuations. This, in a nutshell is what the LED drivers perform. Here is a detailed overview of the role of a LED driver in LED lighting.
Internal and external drivers
Drivers can be either internal or external. External drivers are generally used in tape lights, downlights, cove lights etc. The advantage of external drivers is the extension of the life of the LEDs. Drivers may fail before the actual completion of expected lifespan of LEDs because of factors such as higher temperatures in operating environments. A simple replacement of the external drivers will give the LED extra life, without having to replace the LED itself.
Power factor correction to ensure longevity of installation with better illumination
LED drivers offer power factor correction to ensure that the LEDs are supplied with corrected power wattage which optimises the output and gives longevity to the LEDs. LEDs are designed to function without problems for more than 20000 hours. This is primarily because of the smooth conversion of high voltage alternating current to low voltage direct current to the desired input wattage of the LEDs. This conversion is critical both to the operation and the lifespan of the product.
Constant voltage drivers for steady supply of wattage
Through the use of resistors, drivers achieve a steady output of 12V DC. This steady wattage drives the LEDs to offer the right lumens at the right operating temperature. One of the important and unique features of LED is the fact that heat is dissipated through sinks to prevent overheating of the LEDs. The combination of the right wattage and the dissipation of heat actually lend a long life to the LEDs.