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How to choose a driver for the LED strip?

The main characteristic that determines the brightness of luminescence in devices with incandescent lamps is voltage. In contrast, the main indicator for LED lighting fixtures is current, a stable value of which is designed to maintain the driver for the LED strip—a current source, which provides long-term and high-quality work of the lighting equipment. The device is powered from a household network of 220V, while the output voltage may have a value of 3 V and up to several tens.

So, for 10 meters of 50 W LED strip, you should buy a 60-70 W driver. The current rating is selected according to the expected brightness of the luminescence. The value of the output voltage depends on the performance capabilities of the backlight. The protection class of the device is important for the installation location of the driver.

Features and characteristics of LED strip drivers

In design terms, the most influential power supply is a block consisting of microcircuits, complete through pulse converters and elements to stabilize the current. The device has high efficiency and is provided with quality short circuit protection.

When choosing a LED strip driver

it would help if you considered its main characteristics:

The power at the device’s output should be 15-20% higher than the expected load. For example, for 10 meters of LED strip 50 W should buy a driver for 60-70 W.

The current rating is selected according to the expected brightness of the luminescence.

The value of the output voltage depends on the performance capabilities of the backlight.

The protection class of the device is important for the installation location of the driver. In rooms with high humidity and outdoors, devices in a particular casing or moisture-proof coating are used.

Types of LED drivers and connection methods

In a global sense, there are two types of power supplies:

Linear models are called models in which the generator releases the current. It can deliver current with stable parameters, even when the input voltage is unstable. These drivers are simple in design and inexpensive but low efficiency (up to 80%).

Pulse devices operate on the principle of PWM (pulse width modulation). In this case, the frequency of current always remains constant, and the duration of pulses varies.

It is not enough to make the light work for a long time to choose the right RGB driver for the LED strip. You must also correctly install it. The power supply can be connected to the circuit in several ways:

A serial connection allows you to keep a constant current across the circuit. The glow of the diodes is even and bright. But if many crystals are connected to the circuit, you will need a potent driver.

If you connect in parallel, the power supply is of the same power, but the current in each circuit may be different. Therefore the glow will not be the same brightness.

Two drivers are installed in series. This method is not often used because of the complexity of the current distribution in the circuit.

Before you buy a driver for LEDs, make a diagram of the backlighting organization. Determine the choice of LED tapes and other necessary equipment. Based on the results, it will be clear which power source is preferred. 

Is it possible to turn on the LED driver without any load?

    Drivers without a load can not be switched on. If in doubt about this driver, include a constant resistor instead of the diode – the equivalent of the load.

What is the difference between the power supply for LED strips?

    The driver is a type of power supply designed to provide LEDs with a given current. It doesn’t matter what they call this power supply. Power supplies are called power supplies for LED strips at 12 or 24 volts; they can give out any current below the maximum.

How to connect a LED bulb?

    Wiring diagram for a direct plug-in LED light bulb 220V

    De-energize the lamp to avoid electric shock.

    Remove the fluorescent bulbs.

    Remove the starters, leave the ballast (or replace the starters with special ones for LED lamps).

    Insert LED bulbs.

    Turn on the power supply.

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