You are well-aware by now of the tremendous energy savings that LEDs provide when compared to both incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, as well as the decidedly longer operational lifetimes. An LED uses technology that allows it to convert much more of the energy it uses to heat, which means you can pay for lower wattages and command greater actual light. None of this would be possible without the LED driver module, which functions as the electrical conduit that powers the actual light-emitting diode.
TYPES OF LED DRIVERS
The type of LED driver module you require depends on whether you require LEDs for conventional home use, or in an outdoor setting. As such, there are two different kinds of drivers – internal and external. External LED drivers are preferred for use in commercial environments, where it’s often more expedient to replace the entire driver rather than the LED. An internal LED driver module is better for homes because of the ease of removal involved. It is easier to just replace the attached bulb should something go wrong.
LED drivers also manage the voltage “fed” to your lighting fixtures from the power outlet. Since alternating current is used in the US, the voltage available in your house or office is substantially higher than the voltage rating at which LED lights typically run. The LED driver module is responsible for reducing this voltage to avoid too much current passing to the LED and causing it to fail prematurely.
WHY DO LED DRIVERS FAIL?
More often than not, your LED driver module will fail as a result to the constantly elevated temperatures that describe the internal environment of the bulb, itself. LEDs have maximum operating temperatures, and various things that an owner might do to speed up the standard expected lifetime. For example, if you place your LED lights inside of a fixture, be prepared for an earlier expiration date because of the reduced heat dissipation.
The enclosure encourages heat build-up, which, in turn, places stress on the evaporative gel for the electrolytic capacitor. Normally, this gel slowly dissipates. When it’s completely evaporated, this signals the “death” of the LED driver module. Heat that is above the maximum, manufacturer-provided rating speeds up this process. Energy Recovery Products (ERP) gives you the ability to find LED driver modules by several of their most important physical attributes.