There are a number of available LED power suppliesout there, and finding the best one sometimes requires a little bit of footwork. The best thing to do is understand the usage your LED light will undergo, and choose a power supply accordingly. Will the LED be used as a sparsely-activated indicator light in a series, or will it be used as a primary lighting source somewhere? Figure this out, and then figure out what kind of LED power source would fit best for you. Following is a description of several available sources out there, and what their most common applications are.
Constant Current and Constant Voltage; CC and CV
The main difference between Constant Current and Constant Voltage is that one continuously ensures there will be power for the LED in question, the other actually maintains a regular current. You can have continuous voltage in an LED without continuous current. That said, the CV option isn’t going to be as dependable as the CC option, as the CC option can meet the demands of increased energy, where as the CV option has a cap.
Applications of CC vs. CV
A Constant Voltage LED power source can be used as a means of driving LEDs in either a single use, or along a string. It can also be used to power LED lights in parallel, so long as a proper series resistor limits current. The thing is, because LEDs are regularly utilized in strings, one of the most well-known applications of LED power comes in the form of CC, or Constant Current, solutions. This will generally be the way to go with a broad variety of LED applications. Constant Current will ensure that the luminosity of LEDs remains constant at all times. With Constant Voltage, it may remain constant regularly, but luminosity could peak or decline depending on usage. CV is going to be more preferable in a situation where the LED isn’t used in a continuous way, but is only sparsely activated. An indicator light, or something of that ilk, will more properly benefit from CV.
At The End of the Day
LEDs are designed to conserve energy while providing illumination in a more dependable way than traditional filament bulbs. As a result, finding the power supply option that best conserves energy is often the desired route. That said, energy-conserving options may fluctuate LED luminosity depending on your usage.