Power conversion occurs any time the form, voltage or frequency of electrical energy or currentÊis altered. To properly power LED lights, drivers are added to the circuit to convert AC power into the DC power required by these ultra efficient devices. The voltage must also be significantly reduced to prevent damage to, or premature failure of, the bulbs themselves. An AC to DC powerÊconverter is known as a rectifier which utilizes one or more diodes to allow incoming current to pass in only one direction, thus creating DC. A filter or smoothing circuit is then used to reduce any remaining “ripple” in the electrical current.
LEDs Require DC Electricity
LEDs require the use of DC current to remain continuously lit, as AC current will only allow them to function during intervals when the current is flowing in the proper direction. Power conversion for LEDs is accomplished with the use of an appropriate driver which first converts AC power into DC and later adjusts the voltage down to an optimal amount to power the string or strings of LEDs in the circuit.
AC to DC Power Converters Known as Rectifiers
A device known as a rectifier is used to convert AC power into DC power. A number of steps are involved in the process:
- Rectification itself is accomplished with the use of one or more diodes which allow the incoming AC current to pass through in only one direction.
- Multiple diodes are typicallyÊused in a series to more efficiently convert AC power into the usable DC form required by LED lights.
- After the initial power conversion, the output is known as pulsating DC because the voltage contains “ripple” and is unstable.
- To correct this condition, a smoothing circuit or filter typically follows the diodes to remove as much fluctuation as is necessary and/or possible. Capacitors are frequently used as an appropriate filter in the smoothing circuit.
LED Drivers For Optimal Power Conversion
Energy Recovery Products (ERP) produces LED drivers that convert incoming AC electrical voltage to an ideal form for the optimal performance of LED lights. From simple low powered circuits for home lighting applications to high powered drivers designed to power LEDs in roadway and automobile head lamp applications, we have drivers to meet the needs of every situation. Contact us today to learn more about our products.