The main purpose of an LED driver is to rectify higher voltage, alternating current to low voltage, direct current. LED drivers also protect the LEDs from voltage or current surges. A change in voltage can cause a change in current supplied to the LEDs.
One of the most important characteristics of a good LED driver is efficiency. It basically depends on how much of the power used actually goes to the LED chip. For example, a 100W LED projector with an 80% efficient driver supplies only 80W of power to the LED chip, while the other is lost in the heat generated by the LED driver due to internal inefficiencies. This basically means that a 100W LED projector only outputs 80W worth of light.
The example cited above is very well-intentioned, because today there are LED drivers sold with efficiencies as low as 25%, wasting 75% of the energy used by a luminaire.
Another very important factor is the protection functions that an LED driver must have built in. The most important protection functions that should be in the LED driver are over-voltage and current protection, over-temperature and short-circuit protection. These functions enable an LED driver to handle current surges and protect the LED fixture.
Third, a high power factor LED driver will help reduce demand charges or peak demand. This is particularly important for companies operating on a two-part payment structure.
Another factor that is easily forgotten is the LED driver lifetime. Quality LED chips paired with a well-designed heat sink can easily have a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours. Often times the LED driver does not share the same long lifetime. Another thing to remember is the temperature at which the LED driver lifetime is tested. Many LED driver manufacturers rate the life of the drivers as 25°C when the LED driver reaches much higher temperatures, this greatly reduces the life of the LED driver.
As the LED temperature increases, the luminous efficiency of the LED decreases, so the heat dissipation of the LED is very important. If an LED driver is installed inside the luminaire structure, higher efficiency of the LED driver is needed here. The higher the efficiency of the drive, the less heat it emits. That is, when the LED driver is strong and high, the power loss is small. In this way we can keep an LED floodlight at constant power, reduce the negative impact due to temperature and extend the life of the LEDs.
There are many other things to consider when choosing an LED driver, fortunately Soli Lamp has already done all the necessary work and selected the best LED drivers for their products. This includes a 5-year warranty, a minimum power factor of 0.95, a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours, over-voltage, over-current, over-temperature and short-circuit protection as standard. The minimum driver efficiency of Soli Lamp's LED drivers is up to 94% for floodlights and street lights of 200W and above.