The Complete Buyers Guide to LED Drivers
When it comes to choosing the right LED driver compatibility is crucial. Using the wrong driver in an LED system could result in failure and even damage to the components used. As industry experts and one of the UK’s largest suppliers, our friendly technical team at Ultra LEDs are on hand to advise you on all things LED and help you find the product that is right for you. Here is our guide to drivers, the questions you need to ask when purchasing them and our top tips for installing them correctly.
Our range explained:
We are exclusive stockists of the Orion driver range. Expertly developed by Tagra, the LED Lighting specialists, the Orion series features the highest quality internal componentry and an exceptional reliability record. The high performance and unprecedented 5-year guarantee make the Orion contact voltage drivers ideal for demanding retail and commercial environments where durability is key. RoHS and CE approved.
Available in either 12V of 24V and in various wattages ranging from 3.5W to 600W. The Professional series feature easy access terminals for hard wiring into LED systems.
For LED products with dimming capabilities you will require a dimmable driver. Our dimmable drivers are ELV and TRIAC compatible for seamless dimming control. Available in 12V and 24V and wattages from 30W to 200W.
Compatible with a Digitally Addressable Lighting Interface, our DALI drivers allow for precise control over lighting installations. Wattages from 40W to 200W and voltages in either 12V or 24V.
Easy to Use Drivers
Our easy to use drivers feature plug and play technology, making LED lighting installations easier than ever before. Using the Syndeo JST cabling system and the innovative multi-port driver, you can power multiple runs of tape, flex, lightbars and spotlights using just one power supply. Learn more about our Syndeo drivers here.
Things to consider when choosing your driver:
What is a Driver?
LED drivers are devices which regulate and supply the power used to ‘drive’ runs of LED strip lighting. Similar to traditional transformers, they transform mains voltage alternating current (240v AC) to a lower voltage. However, LED drivers also transform mains voltage current to a constant, direct current (DC) that LEDs require. By adjusting their output according to the electrical properties of the LED tape which changes as it heats up, drivers regulate the power supplied to the LEDs to be a constant of usually either 12v or 24v of DC.
Because LEDs require a constant DC of 12v or 24v, LED drivers are required in all LED systems (except those which are specifically developed to be controlled by mains voltage power supplies such as mains voltage tape or LED bulbs).
All LED strip lights requires either 12v or 24v to power, which is stated in its specification. Be sure to buy a driver with the same output voltage that the tape requires. Running 12v tape with a 24v driver will result in the LEDs being brighter in the short term but the higher voltage will eventually burn the tape out. Running 24v tape with a 12v driver will result in the LEDs not lighting up at all.
The amount of power LED tape consumes varies depending on its length. The wattage of a tape is the amount of power the tape consumes per meter. To work out how many watts your run of tape needs simply multiply the wattage of the tape by the number of meters you are running. Once you know the wattage of the run of tape you can then choose a suitable driver.
The wattage of a driver indicates its maximum output capability. We recommend choosing a driver with a wattage capability at least 10% higher than the wattage the LED tape requires to ensure a longer lifespan.
For example, 5m of 6w LED tape requires 30 watts. We would recommend using a driver with an output capability of 33 watts or more to power this tape.
If you are installing your LED strip lighting outdoors or where water exposure may occur it is important to use a water-resistant driver. To know if a driver is water resistant look for its Ingress Protection or “IP” rating. Our water-resistant drivers are fully encased to ensure maximum safety and therefore do not offer access to terminals.
If you want to be able to dim your LEDs be sure to buy a driver with dimming capabilities. They work by reducing the amount of power supplied to the LED, and there are two different kinds: trailing edge dimmable drivers (also known as ELV drivers) and leading edge dimmable drivers (also known as TRIAC drivers). To learn more about the differences between the two different dimming technologies click here.
Easy to Use or Professional?
Featuring easy terminal access and an unprecedented 5 year warranty, our Professional drivers are ideal for use in largescale commercial and retail environments where durability is key.
Thanks to their plug and play technology, are easy to use drivers can be installed quickly and by those without any prior electrical qualifications, saving time and money on commercial installations. They also feature a slimline design making them ideal for concealing within furniture in hotels, restaurants and residential environments.
For more information or technical support please contact a member of our team.