What Is A Driver?
Drivers, also called transformers or control gears to manipulate main electricity from the grid into a specific voltage or current that an electric appliance needs.
Without the driver, the main power can be too strong and can damage the electronics. Most of the LEDs required drivers, but for some LED lamps, you need to pair up your LED lighting with a driver.
However, please note that LED drivers are different from LED emergency drivers. LED emergency drivers are used for converting a LED lamp into a non-maintained emergency light and comes with an integrated rechargeable battery. Click here to know more about LED emergency drivers and their types.
Types of LED Lighting Drivers
Commonly, there are two types of LED drivers. LED drivers are either Incorporated or external. There are various names for LED lights, such as lamps, bulbs, fixtures, luminaires, and others. The major difference between these LED lights is where the driver is.
- Incorporated LED Drivers
LEDs with incorporated drivers have small drivers that are housed in the same casing as the LED chip. These LED lamps are most common for everyday use.
Benefits of Incorporated LED lights: Most of the users don’t want to learn how to install the drivers, so incorporated drivers are best for them as the manufacturers have done the hard work, and all you need to do is screw the new LED into your light fitting.
The drawback of Incorporated LED drivers: In this type of LED, there is limited space for the driver, which is sometimes not effective. This can decrease the life of the lamp, and also if the driver breaks, you have to replace the whole lamp, not just the drivers.
- External LED Drivers
In this type of LED driver, lights need to be wired with a separate driver between them and the mains. External LED lights allow you to control the aspects of lighting design, like dimming.
Benefits of External LED lights: The components of external lights are separate, and if one gets damaged, it can be replaced separately. The electronic components have enough room to work efficiently and effectively.
Drawbacks of External LED lights: In External LED lights, you will have to pair up the lights, and it can be quite tricky. They are larger and takes up more space.
Selecting the Right Driver – Constant Voltage vs. Constant Current
When choosing the right driver for your LED light, you will have two options, either constant voltage or constant current.
A constant voltage is the most common type of driver. Most of the LED lamps need a driver designed to work with 12V constant voltage drivers, while some unusual LEDs will need different voltage. Other LEDs will require a constant current driver.
It’s very difficult to find out how manufacturers have made their LED lights until you take it apart. However, the LED driver manufacturers will always indicate whether the driver is a constant current or constant voltage.