What Does an LED Driver Do?

As an increasing emphasis is placed on efficiency and sustainability, LED technology will become more and more popular. And thus, we want to take the opportunity to introduce you to the key piece of equipment responsible for powering your LED lighting: the LED driver.

What does an LED driver do, though?

We're glad you asked! As the name suggests, this power supply "drives" input power to the LED diodes. But, the way in which it does this is very complex - as LED technology needs a very unique type of power supply.

Below, we'll explain how an LED driver works in great detail and highlight why they're so integral to your system. You'll also find answers to many other questions we are asked about LED technology - as we touch on the average lifespan of LED drivers, how to tell if yours is failing, and how to find a suitable replacement. 

Here at Bravo Electro, we're your one-stop shop for all things power supply - and that means you'll find the perfect AC DC LED driver power supply here in our catalog.

Before we talk about that, though, let's get back to the question at hand.

What Does an LED Driver Do?

So - what does an LED driver do exactly? 

In short, it's responsible for supplying the correct amount of power to the LED diodes. This is an incredibly important job as LEDs require very specific electrical conditions to work - and so a typical AC DC power supply just won't cut it.

As we discussed in our article on if house electrical is AC or DC, most buildings here in the US supply either 120v or 240v of DC power. But LEDs operate on much lighter power requirements - from 12-24v in some cases - and require AC power. Thus, a means of converting DC to AC power is necessary. And, that conversion must be capable of dropping the voltage to protect your lights. You can learn more about the difference between AC and DC power in our blog - but for now, let's get back to the topic at hand.

Essentially, LED drivers convert DC voltage (typically 110-277V) into AC voltage that matches what your particular LED component is capable of handling. If a driver isn't used in this situation, you will end up with flickering or damaged lighting components due to the wrong voltage being sent through them.

This begs the question...is there any way to power LEDs without a driver?

Will LEDs Work Without a Driver?

No! To work, LED diodes must be subjected to precisely regulated electricity which requires an LED driver or power supply. Without one, you could damage your LEDs and other components within the system.

What's more, LED drivers are designed to utilize the energy-saving benefits that come with LED lighting - helping you save even more money in the long run. This is because they ensure that your lights don't consume any more power than necessary - a feature that can help extend their lifespan significantly (see below).

As such, it's essential that you use one of these specialized power supplies if you're serious about getting the most out of your LED lighting setup.

What are the Different Types of LED Drivers?

There is a wide range of LED drivers on the market today - each tailored towards different needs and requirements. Here at Bravo Electro, we specialize in two types:

  1. Constant voltage LED drivers
  2. Constant current LED drivers

Constant voltage LED drivers are tailored towards applications that require a fixed output voltage - no matter what the input is. With this type of driver, the internal circuitry will adapt itself to the input and maintain the same output voltage regardless of any changes in the environment. This makes it ideal for powering fixtures such as LED strips or rope lights.

On the other hand, constant current LED drivers are designed to provide a steady stream of electricity at set current levels - irrespective of what's happening outside of it. This makes them more suitable for high-powered LEDs, like those used in spotlights and recessed lighting fixtures. 

You can learn more about the different types of LED drivers in our blog. But for now, let's move on to understanding the lifespan of your LED power supply - and determining when it needs to be replaced.

What is the Lifespan of an LED Driver?

Quality LED lighting can last years and years of reliable, efficient, high-output use. This is one of the main reasons industries are switching to LED technology over traditional HID technology. However, all good things come to an end eventually - and the same is true of your LED power supply.

The lifespan of an LED driver depends on the quality and type you choose. But the conditions in which your LED equipment operates dictate lifespan, too. On average, LED drivers need to be replaced every 3-5 years - depending on their usage.

Of course, some brands and models may last longer or shorter than others so it's worth doing your research before settling on one. At Bravo Electro, we only carry reliable brands that have been tested for longevity - so you know your LED drivers will last for years to come. We'll talk more about choosing the right one later on - for now, let's discuss trouble shooting power supply of your LED driver.

How Do You Tell if an LED Driver Failed?

Though most drivers are designed to last many years, there may be cases where yours fails sooner than expected. To determine whether an LED driver has failed, look out for these symptoms:

- Flickering or blinking lights: This can be caused by an unstable current. If your LEDs are blinking, it's likely that the driver has failed and needs to be replaced.

- Buzzing sounds coming from the power supply: This could indicate a loose connection within the driver - a sign of impending failure.

- Dimming lights: Usually, this means the voltage is too low and needs to be adjusted. However, if you've already done this then it could mean that the driver has malfunctioned and needs to be replaced.

Once you have established that there is indeed a problem with your LED driver, it's time to choose another one.

How Do I Choose an LED Driver for My LED?

Choosing the right power supply for your LED setup is just as important as choosing the right lights. If you want to get the most out of your LEDs and extend their lifespan, make sure you buy one that matches your requirements. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting an LED driver:

- Output current: Make sure it's compatible with the current rating of your LEDs.

- Input voltage range: Most drivers come with adjustable input voltage ranges, so make sure yours can accommodate all possible voltages.

- Efficiency: Look out for high-efficiency ratings as this will help save on electricity costs in the long run.

- Ambient temperature: Different drivers have different operating temperatures, so make sure you pick one that's designed for the environment in which your LEDs will be used.

- Ratings: Do you need a UL listed vs UL recognized power supply? What about class 2 vs class ii ratings? Consider your specific use case when determining if any sort of ratings are required. This is something we can help you with, too.

Once you've found the right driver, it's time to shop around and find a reliable source. And even if you’re not entirely sure which LED power supply is right for you, you can still head over to Bravo Electro. 

We live and breathe power supply and electrical components. And while we’re known as the premier choice for power supply products, it’s really our customer support that sets us apart. We can help you find the perfect product for your unique needs - and we can even accommodate custom projects. So, the question of where to find highly-efficient, reliable LED power supplies online is actually quite simple…

Where to Find Highly-Efficient, Reliable LED Drivers Online

If you're looking for top-quality yet affordable LED power supplies, look no further than Bravo Electro. We are the leading supplier of lighting components online and have been working with LED companies all over the world since 2017.

With our range of products and services, we can help you find exactly what you need - quickly and easily. Our selection of constant current and constant voltage LED drivers is second-to-none and caters to every use case. Plus, we provide the best customer service in the industry - with technical experts on hand to help you find the perfect product for your project.

So if you're looking for high-quality and reliable LED drivers at wholesale prices, head over to Bravo Electro today! With our huge selection of components and unbeatable support, you'll be sure to find exactly what you need. We’ve got 12v DC power supplies, 24v DC power supplies, and even 48v DC power supplies.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope this beginner’s guide has given you a better understanding of what an LED driver does and how to choose one that best suits your particular needs. For more information or advice on any of our products, feel free to contact us anytime. Our world-class customer service and electrical engineers are on standby ready to help you!