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Understanding LED Dimmable Driver Technology

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Understanding LED Dimmable Driver Technology 2017-11-28

Within the lighting industry, the increasingly important topic of LEDs is inextricably linked with the development of suitable control gear for operating LED modules. Like LED modules, LED drivers are available with a broad array of technical and quality relevant properties and features. We wish to provide easily understandable information on drivers, their uses and what to look out for when choosing one.

What is a LED dimmable driver and what is it used for?

Operating an LED module always requires control gear (a ballast), which in the field of LEDs is called a driver. Current can only flow in one direction through an LED (diode). A rise in internal temperature during operation can lead to a rise in current and with that power uptake within the LED, which in turn leads to a further increase in temperature. Failing to limit this vicious circle can lead to the destruction of an LED. Preventing this from happening is one of the tasks performed by a driver. LED modules can be operated with one of two different supply sources (drivers) depending on gearshift assembly:

• a constant current source

• a constant voltage source

Drivers for constant current or constant voltage operation

If an LED module is operated using a constant voltage source but without current limitation, the current will increase up to the thermal destruction of the LED. To avoid this effect, LED modules for operation with constant voltage are fitted with integrated current control. When operating an LED using a constant current source, the current operating the LED is kept at a constant level, with current control being integrated in the driver. Constant current sources can feature either transistors or integrated circuits. The use of a constant current source is more efficient.