Why Do You Need Drivers For LED Strip Lights?

The market is booming and everyone is frequently updating their lighting to make the best of out of the space. LED Strip lights have been trending since it got entered in the market. While it's easy to go to the shop and buy one but it gets complicated after looking at all those drivers, connectors and profiles.

Buying LED strip lights may appear at first glance to be fairly straightforward, however, in actuality, there are a great many different factors that buyers need to take into consideration to ensure they get the right lights to suit their requirements.

The importance of LED Drivers

LED lights need a special device called an LED driver in order to turn on and operate. LED drivers perform a similar function to what a ballast does for fluorescent light bulbs.

The driver processes line voltage into power suitable for the operation of an LED. In addition, because LED electrical properties change with temperature fluctuations, the driver regulates and maintains a constant amount of current.

What Do LED Drivers Do?

LED Strip Light drivers serve three main purposes:

Most households use 120-277V AC electricity, but LEDs operate on low voltage DC electricity. Thus, the driver changes the higher voltage AC current into the lower voltage DC current to match what the LED lights need to operate.
The input voltage to the driver must be the same as the voltage required by the driver.

If not, the voltage variation can cause flicker or flashing.
A common approach to controlling the light output of LEDs is by pulse-width modulation. When LED bulbs are dimmed, particular at the low end of light output, flicker may result.

Do LEDs Need a Driver?

Most LEDs require a driver, a few are designed to run on AC current. While the LED bulbs you screw into a fixture may not look like they have one, they actually have an internal driver just like screw-in CFLs have an integral ballast.

Most household LEDs that are direct replacements for incandescent, halogen and CFL bulbs with an E26/E27 or GU10/GU24 base have an internal driver.

It’s the strip lights where people trip up. LED strips also require a driver, but you can buy strip lights separately from the driver, and one driver can supply electricity to multiple LED strips!

Is the LED Bad or Is It the Driver?

Here’s another tip: if your LED lights are getting dim, it might be the driver that’s the problem — not the LED! Drivers operate at a high internal temperature, which is why LED life can be reduced if the bulb is in an enclosed fixture or used in a hot garage, for instance.

The driver may fail before the solid state junction of the LED chip fails. This is also why LEDs are much better in cold temperatures than CFLs. They illuminate instantly (technically faster than incandescent) while comparable CFL bulbs may require a dim light, warm-up period before getting to full light output.

Conclusion

So now, with your collection of LED light strips and no driver, what do you do? The only solution is to pick up a driver for your lights. At LEDMyplace, we have great navigation that helps you choose the strip lights and drivers simultaneously.

Have you got your LED Strip Lights yet?

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