Led Technology-What Is An Led Driver?
Sep. 22, 2020
The LED driver is the brain of the LED lighting system. It provides power conversion, load regulation and protection of downstream components. The LED driver is also an interface integrated with sensors and wireless communication modules to realize human-computer interaction in smart lighting applications.
In the past few years, the development and deployment of light-emitting diode (LED) technology in the entire lighting application field has been shocking. Although LEDs have inherently high electro-optical conversion efficiency, the performance of LED luminaires is only as good as their drivers. Only when the performance indicators of the LED driver always match the electrical characteristics of the LED light source, can the potential of this revolutionary lighting technology be released. The LED lighting system is a synergistic combination of light sources, LED drivers, thermal management systems and optics. As the only component that affects the photometric performance and light quality of the LED in the lighting system, the driver plays a vital role in the wider and intensive application of LED technology.
What is an LED driver?
An LED driver is an electronic device used to adjust the power of an LED or one or more strings of LEDs. LEDs are solid-state semiconductor devices filled or doped with layers to form pn junctions. When current flows through the doped layer, holes from the p region and electrons from the n region are injected into the pn junction. They recombine to produce photons that we think are visible light. The conversion from current to light output is almost linear. Increasing the input current can recombine more electrons and holes in the pn junction, thereby generating more photons.
Compared with conventional light sources that are directly powered by alternating current (AC) power, LEDs work on DC input or modulated square wave input due to the polarity of diodes. When the polarity of the AC signal is correct, the input of the AC signal will cause the LED to light up only for about half of the time, and immediately go out under negative bias. Therefore, it is necessary to supply the LED array with a constant output DC current provided by a fixed output or a variable output within an allowable range to achieve stable and flicker-free lighting.
The indoor led driver provides an interface between the power supply (line) and the LED (load), and converts the input 50 Hz or 60 Hz AC line power to 120 volts, 220 volts, 240 volts, 277 volts or 480 volts. The voltage is converted into a regulated DC output current. There are also drivers designed to accept other types of power, for example, DC power from a DC microgrid or Power over Ethernet (PoE). The LED driver circuit should have the ability to resist voltage spikes and other noises on the AC line within the predetermined design range, and should also filter out the harmonics in the output current to prevent them from affecting the output quality of the LED light source. The driver is not only a power converter. Certain types of LED drivers have additional electronics to achieve precise control of light output or support smart lighting.
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