What transformer you should use for LED lights?Time:2021-05-06 / Read:542
LEDs or Light-Emitting Diodes work on the principle of electroluminescence i.e., it discharges the light as the current passes through it. LED acts like a semiconductor then and the byproduct of the current passing through it becomes the light. Therefore, LEDs require the right amount of current and voltage to work properly. An unregulated current will damage the LED. Here is when the transformers and drivers come to the rescue. The reason they are so important is to maintain the current flow and ultimately to increase the efficiency of the LED.
But the question arises, what are transformers? The answer to this question is quite simple actually, especially if you have encountered electricity as a professional or just for leisure, you might know a transformer. A transformer can transfer electricity from one circuit to another, simply, you can use it to up-regulate or down-regulate the current.
A transformer is made up of two interconnected coils containing one primary coil and one secondary coil. The primary coil is connected to the power source, and the secondary coil is in charge of connecting to the LED. The transformer can determine the voltage by using the connection between the two coils. Thus, it increases or decreases the voltage. Being lesser winded than primary, secondary coil has less voltage.
How does a transformer perform its function?
The conventional transformer has consisted of a magnet that is wrapped around two copper coils. The number of windings on the coils determines whether the voltage remains the same or not. However, the electronic transformer uses electric circuits to control the voltage. They also contain integrated overvoltage protection. Thus, electric transformers are more efficient than conventional ones.
Types of transformers or drivers
1. Constant voltage transformer
· They use continuously available DC (direct current) voltage. They are capable of running LED lights that have fixed voltages of 5, 12, or 24 volts with maximum current flow.
· This flexibility of these transformers helps them to become ideal for parallel LEDs like LED strips. More LEDs can be added in the parallel system until one has reached the maximum current in the transformer.
2. Constant current transformer
· They supply the power to LEDs. They consist of a current limiting resistor and they can run on a defined current in amperes with maximum voltage. The voltage is varying along the circuit which keeps the current constant.
· These are usually used for single bulbs, and cannot be used in series if the circuit broke.
Five must be done things when you choose a LED transformer
LED transformers are bound to work in their fixed temperatures. Do not put it somewhere in a poorly ventilated area as it will be damaged by heat.
2. Use efficiently
Using a LED properly will increase its lifespan and it will require low maintenance. Thus, use it efficiently and properly to lower your costs.
3. Output voltage
The transformer must be chosen to take into consideration your LED voltage requirements. If there are multiple LEDs, you just sum up their voltages and find a transformer.
4. Output current
The current requirements must also be fulfilled taking into consideration the LEDs. The current is specified with amperes. The LED is run at a lower current to be used durably.
5. Output Wattage
The transformer must have the same or higher watts as LEDs for safety purposes. If you use an output watt that is equal to the LEDs’ average power requirement, you will shorter the lifespan of your LEDs.
Like its name, it drives the power of a LED. It is of two types:
1. Constant Voltage Drivers
They are used for those LEDs that need a stable and continuous DC voltage so that they can perform well. These are required in a parallel connection of LEDs where they are present in a strip configuration. It makes sure that every LED has got the same voltage from drivers. They are available with different dimming capabilities and wattages.
2. Constant Current LED driver
A constant current LED driver is supposed to manage the current that is coming into the LED. It also helps in regulating the amount of forwarding current that can occur between LEDs. If there is an exceeded amount of forwarding current, the LED will get overheated making itself malfunctioned.
Dimming in LED drivers
The LED drivers can also facilitate dimming or color sequencing depending on their specifications. The drivers can dim the LEDs by decreasing the leading current that passes through them. Dimming does not affect the competency of LED and it will not impact negatively its lifespan. But, it can help to last longer and it can reduce the heat that it produces when it lights.
When to use a transformer and a driver?
If you need longer strips, the LED transformer must be used as they have high output wattages than the drivers. You can use an LED driver interchanging with a transformer. But the wattage requirements of the project will be the basis of interchanging.
LEDs require constant power so that they can work efficiently. That is why LED transformers and drivers are useful as they help LEDs to have a longer lifespan and so that they can work efficiently without causing damage to themselves.