May 9, 2016

Comparing LED Drivers With or Without Isolator

LED drivers

Built-in LED drivers

LED Drivers

The LED tube’s built-in power driver are divided into two types: Isolated and Non-Isolated. The built-in LED drivers can be directly put inside of the lamps. The biggest advantages of built-in power driver LED tube is that the customer can replace the existing fluorescent tube directly, after removing the ballast and starter. Removing the ballast and starter also removes the constant worry of having to replace them again. Built in drivers are well suited for LED tubes because their shape is elongated, making it possible to be put into the linear tubes.

LED tube driver with Isolator

Isolated type driver refers to that the tube has an isolated transformer in the input and output ends. This transformer may also be power frequency or high frequency. They also work as a barrier between the input and output, reducing the risk of electric shock. Generally speaking, due to the transformer, the isolator type has lower efficiency, usually at about 88%. The volume of space needed for a transformer is relatively large. It can put into the T8 and T10 LED lamp, however it increases their cost by at least 30%. Though this is sometimes unavoidable as it is required in major markets such as Europe as a legal safety feature, but they’re not required by USA safety regulations.

LED tube driver without Isolator

Non-Isolated tube refers to the direct connection between input and output end, so there is a risk of electric shock in countries that use 220V power supply. Currently most common type is the non-isolated step-down power driver. AC rectifier DC high voltage, and then directly with step-down (Buck) for decompression and constant current control circuit. The main technical characteristics of this kind of non-Isolated power driver are: from 18 v to 450v wide input voltage and constant current output. Adopting frequency jitter decreases electromagnetic interference. Using random source varying frequency, it can extend the audio energy spectrum. The expanded energy spectrum can effectively reduce the in-band electromagnetic interference, reducing the complexity of the system design. It also can use linear and PWM dimming and support hundreds of WLED 0.06 drive applications (25 KHZ to 300 KHZ). Working frequency can be set through the external resistors. Usually the efficiency is about 88-90%, the power factor is around 0.88-0.92.

But these Non-Isolated power drivers have some limitations. The Non-Isolated power driver will lead the high voltage of AC power source into the output end, presenting the risk of electric shock in countries that use 220V power supply. Usually the insulation between LED and aluminium radiators will have a thin film of insulation on the aluminium board. Although the insulation layer is resistant to high voltages of 2000V, but in some cases, burr of the screw holes can produce a so-called “arcing” phenomenon, making it difficult to pass CE certification. Comprehensively, the two power driver have their own advantages, the Non-Isolated power driver focuses on high power factor and efficiency (Like US market), reducing the energy loss. On the other hand, Isolated power driver focuses on the European market that has a legal requirements on health and saftey. However, unlike the Non-Isolated power driver, it sacrifices power factor and efficiency, so the choice is based on the different needs of the customer and the certification that is relevant to them. Check this website and find out which LED product is best for you is provided by LED lighting China suppliers

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About Rocky Ma

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