LED power supply? Yes, that little device that needs to be connected to make your LED light strips work and that many people are terrified of when they have to buy it. Don’t worry, after reading this article you will see that it is easier than you thought.
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1- LED POWER SUPPLY: FIRST OF ALL, IS IT NECESSARY?
First of all we are going to clarify terms: when you hear the word “power supply”, ” or “driver” for LED strip lights you should know that they are basically the same thing.
Second: we can guess what is going through your mind and no, not all LED strip lights need a power supply.
But, yes, all PROFESSIONAL LED strip lights need a power supply.
There are LED strip lights, like the 5V ones, that have so little power that they can be turned on through a USB or batteries. And others, like 110V or 220, LED strip lights, that you can connect directly to your power.
But in this article we will only talk about the 12V, 24V or 48V LED strips lights that do need a power supply.
A- DID YOU KNOW THAT A LED POWER SUPPLY TRANSFORM FROM DC TO AC?
As we told you before, there are certain types of LED strip lights (those for professional use) that need a LED power supply or driver in order to function.
If you manage to connect the 12V, 24V or 48V LED strips directly to the electrical current, you will simply burn them.
And why do you need a LED power supply ?: very simple, the LED strip lights work with direct current (DC) and must be connected to an alternating current (AC)
What the LED power supply does is to TRANSFORM the alternating current to direct current and at the same time decreases the voltage.
Remember: LEDs work with very low consumption and for this reason they need very low voltages. The LED power supply reduces the output current so they don’t burn out.
B.- DID YOU KNOW THAT THE LED POWER SUPPLY KEEPS THE LIGHT FLOW CONSTANT
Another thing that the LED power supply does is keeping the light flux constant.
You should know that LEDs are SUPER SENSITIVE to current disturbances. If the LED power supply doesn’t exist, they would suffer variations in light emission.
The transformer is essential to establish constant electrical voltage. This keeps the light flux (intensity) and the heat temperature stable.
On the other hand, the transformer also regulates the heat generated by the LED light strip. In other words, it helps to extend its lifespan.
2- LED power supply: HOW TO SELECT IT?
Once we understand why an LED power supply is necessary, we are going to explain in a very simple way how to buy the most suitable one for your project.
The first thing you have to do is to check out the POWER per meter of the LED light strip you are using.
When you buy a LED strip lights reel, one of the indicators that brings the product information is how many watts per meter it consumes.
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3-LED POWER SUPPLY: NOW TO MULTIPLY.
What you have to do is MULTIPLY the watts of each meter by the number of meters that the roll brings.
For example: if an LED strip lights consumes 21.6 (W / m) and the reel carries 5 meters then the reel of LED strip lights consumes: 21.6 x 5 = 108 watts.
But, you CAN’T CHOOSE THE LED POWER SUPPLY with the EXACT measure. You must oversize it between 15% and 25%
108 watts sized 25% it’s 135 watts.
Therefore a 200 watt power supply works perfectly for this LED light strip.
4-BONUS TRACK: BE CAREFUL WHEN CONNECTING 2 OR MORE LED STRIPS
Therefore, you should take into account when buying your LED power supply that there’s the possibility that you want to connect 2 or more LED strip lights from the same power supply.
In this case you must buy your LED power supply calculating the watts of the 2, 3, 4 reels of LED strip lights that you are going to install.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to write us via the web chat or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org