Using an LED Transformer

The increase in energy regulations and the upswing in general sustainability awareness has made most people familiar with light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. As the cost of LEDs has dropped dramatically in recent years, more people are taking advantage of their long life spans and the energy savings they offer. As people move to using LEDs in their homes, they are discovering the need for LED transformers, which provide LEDs with the correct power supply for optimal performance.

Why Use an LED Transformer
Most power sources supply higher voltage, alternating current (AC) electricity; however, LEDs are designed to run on low voltage, direct current (DC) electricity. For LEDs, the most important thing is maintaining proper current, and the purpose of LED drivers or transformers is to rectify the discrepancy between higher voltage, AC electricity and the need for lower voltage, DC electricity. Transformers also protect LEDs from current or voltage fluctuations. LED light output is directly proportionate to its current supply, so changes in current or voltage can cause the light output to vary and possibly degrade due to changes in temperatures within the LED. The use of a transformer can minimize these issues.

When to Use an LED Transformer
A driver or transformer is needed for every LED light source, but not all LEDs require you to purchase on separately. Some LEDs have an integrated driver within the bulb. LEDs that are meant for household use typically offer an integrated transformer, but low voltage LEDs, outdoor rated lights, tape lights, and panels often require a separate transformer. If one of these LEDs stops working before its rated life span, replacing the transformer can often rectify the problem.

Types of Transformers
There are three types of LED transformers:
1. Constant-voltage
2. Constant current
3. AC LED drivers

Constant-voltage transformers are for LEDs that need fix output voltage and have a maximum output current. For these LEDs, the current is regulated within the LED module and the LEDs need one stable voltage. LEDs that require a fixed output current and a range of voltages need constant-current transformers. Only one current will be specified along with a range of voltages that will vary based on the wattage of the LED.

AC LED drivers are no-minimum load transformers, so they are capable of operating low-voltage halogens or incandescent bulbs as well as LEDs. These transformers are typically used with bulbs that already have an internal driver that converts the current from AC to DC. The AC The job of an LED transformer is to read the low wattage of the LEDs and bring down the voltage to meet the bulb’s requirements.

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