How do Driverless LEDs work?

Posted by Gabriel C on 9/26/2016 to LED Parking Lot Lights
How do Driverless LEDs work?

How do Driverless LEDs work?

LEDs have traditionally required some sort of driver to control the electrical current and supply clean DC power to the LED.   Particularly in larger fixtures like LED parking lot lights, the driver is critical to the performance of the LED.  Today we are starting to see driverless LED technology become more mainstream.

This article is about Driverless LEDs, to learn about What is an LED driver read that story.


How do LEDs work without a Driver?

Driverless LEDs utilize a high voltage incorporated circuit with regulating and changing chips to astutely change the quantity of LEDs in a string amid an electrical cable cycle so that the voltage of the LED string matches the momentary electrical cable voltage.


What products have them?

Small LEDs have them already; they are just using a cheap way of controlling the power.   The solar lights you see around houses will not have a driver.   This is also one of the reasons these constantly fail, the main reason is poor or overworked batteries, but failed circuitry is also an issue

The first wave of consumer products to go driverless and still have high quality will probably be T8 bulbs. 

Quick summary; T8 LED bulbs are replacements for the 4’ long CFLs that you see in homes and businesses throughout the world.  Fluorescent T8 bulbs emit UV/IR light at high levels. Since LEDs have No UV Light, they are much safer than CFL T8s.  LEDs do not emit any light in the non-visible light spectrum (UV) so LEDs are not harmful to health, which should be more discussed (but it’s not, needs a whole another blog).  UV/IR light causes colors to fade in fabrics, signage, while also being the leading cause for eye strain and eye fatigue.  Thus a major reason for LED retrofitting.

T8 bulbs, along with T5, T12 and other variations, are now being replaced by LEDs.   With 18watts of LED output and a retail price dropping below $15, the manufacturers have focused on these to cut costs.   Going driverless is a good way to do that.  


How will it affect the LED bulbs?

From a consumer standpoint you can expect to see smaller and cheaper LED Light fixtures and bulbs, but If the quality of the driverless LEDs are high, no real difference will be felt.   If they end up like cheap solar lights, we will end up with failures and a whole new wave of negative reviews and feedback of LEDs.  For those of us selling the lights, it will feel like 2010 all over again.   Back then there were a slew of failures and problems that resulted in negative publicity.   Most consumers backed off and decided not to be in the early adopter phase. will be doing extra testing on these products.   



Look out for a wave of driverless LEDs in both bulbs and fixtures, but be warry.   Using chips to regulate electricity is easy to do, but very hard to do well.   That distinction will be hard to know.   Choose a driver based LED Fixture for the time being.  


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