Choosing a Suitable LED Driver for Your LED Strip Lights
Today we are answering another one of your FAQs, this time relating to the topic of LED Drivers.
As LED Strip Lights have voltage and current requirements which are different to the mains power supply (240V AC), they need a separate unit called an LED Driver in order to work.
What is an LED Driver?
An LED Driver, sometimes referred to as a transformer or power supply, is a self-contained power supply that matches its output to the voltage and current requirements of the device it serves. Working on a similar basis to the 12V transformers in MR16 spotlight systems, the LED Driver takes the mains electricity supply and changes it to 12V DC.
Which LED Driver do I need? automotive led driver
Drivers come in many shapes and sizes, and not all will be suitable for your purposes. When choosing a driver you should consider the following:
-The power outlet you are using;
-The size of your LED Strip Lights.
LED Drivers come in two main varieties; “plug and play” and mains ready.
As the name suggests, “plug and play” drivers are designed for quick and easy installation, and require minimal expertise to use. The driver connects to the mains supply via a standard UK 3-pin plug and to the strip lights through corresponding male and female connectors.
Mains ready drivers are designed for more advanced installations and can be hardwired directly into your household mains, usually via a domestic household switch for a fully integrated lighting experience. An IP67 ratingalso makes them suitable for use in wet and damp conditions.
As well as the type, you will also have to choose a suitably sized driver. The size of the driver is measured in watts and needs to be matched to the power consumption, or “load,” of your LED Strip Lights.
To calculate the load of your strip lights, multiply the wattage per metre by the total number of metres you intend to run off a single driver. This can be expressed as follows:
wattage per metre x number of metres = total power consumption (load)
For instance, if you are using 10 metres of LED Strip Light that consumes 7.2 watts per metre, the entire load will be 10 x 7.2 = 72 watts. In this particular example an 100 watt driver will be sufficient.