Constant Voltage LED Driver or Constant Current LED Driver: Which Should I Choose for My Product?

LEDs are an excellent way to reinvigorate your business and save money, but how do you know what LED power source is necessary? When selecting an LED strip, selecting the right driver should not be an afterthought. Using the right driver reduces damage to your LED strip and enhances performance, reports LEDs Magazine. If you are uncertain about whether you need a constant current LED driver or a constant voltage LED driver, follow these steps.

Determine the Length of LED Strip Needed Before Selecting Your Constant Current or Constant Voltage LED Driver

The length of strip used determines the power input required to produce a given color rendering index (CRI). Longer strips require more energy to function, but a stronger current is not equal to a higher voltage and vice versa. Instead, determine how many watts your strip will need, based on the noted wattage noted for each CRI on the strip.

For instance, the MX LightForce high lumen LED strip specifies the watts (W) necessary for a 2700K CRI at 5.5W/Ft and 7.3W/Ft.

Number of Watts per Foot * Number of Feet Required = Total Watts Required.

Thus, a 10-foot LED strip at 2700CRI will require a 55W power supply.

Due to differences in wattage required, a constant voltage is necessary to ensure the length has enough power to produce the correct lumens.

Do Your LEDs Require a Constant Current or a Constant Voltage LED Driver?

Most LEDs are not interchangeable with a constant current or constant voltage LED driver. Check the LED product specification sheet before purchasing a driver. Use the specified driver for your specific LED fixture or strip.

For example, the MX LightForce flexible LED strip requires a constant voltage LED driver.

How Long Do You Want Your LEDs to Last?

The lifespan of LEDs makes up another key reason for using a constant voltage driver. Constant voltage LED drivers are associated with a longer LED lifespan as they prevent “overdriving” the strip. Overdriving simply means the driver produces too many volts for the strip, resulting in premature failure of LEDs. Depending on the manufacturer’s specifications, warranties or guarantees may require the use of a compatible driver during installation and use.

Do the LEDs Need Dimmability?

Dimmability preferences can impact the type of LED driver necessary for your project. The wrong dimmer will cause wiring problems and inconsistent lumen output. However, a constant voltage TRIAC dimmable driver ensures the longevity of LEDs without sacrificing lifespan or performance, explains LEDs Magazine.

Skip the Learning Curve by Using a Constant Voltage LED Strip and Driver Combination

Installing LED strip lights takes little time and effort, but using the wrong driver will only complicate the process and damage your investment. Choose a constant voltage LED driver and compatible LED strip, like MX LightForce high lumen LED light strips, for your next project. For assistance in ordering and determining length and wattage requirements visit MX or call 1 (800) 624-0863 today.