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How to Choose a Power Supply for your LED
An LED power supply, sometimes called a driver or transformer, is an important piece of your LED lighting system. The power supply provides the correct voltage to your light and converts the current from AC to DC. Choosing the correct power supply is key to ensuring your LED light delivers excellent performance and a long life.
Do you need an LED power supply?
Some bulbs come with a power supply built in and will not require an external driver. Most LED strip lights, modules and ribbon lights will require you to purchase a separate driver. If you are unsure, contact one of our experts at 1-877-533-5554.
Choosing the correct voltage for your power supply is vital to your LED's proper performance. Using an incorrect voltage can cause serious damage to your lights. Your light's specification sheet will list a voltage (12V or 24V). Pick a driver with the same voltage as what is listed.
Dimming or Non-Dimming?
A dimmable driver will be required if you are planning to dim your light from a wall-mounted switch. You won't need a dimmable power supply if you are using a more complex remote control, DMX system, or pwm dimming on the low voltage side.
Depending on your application, you may want to consider a water resistant power supply. When your LED light will be operated outdoors or in an area where it will be exposed to dust and moisture. Power supplies that are water resistant come with either an IP66 or IP67 outdoor rating. It is important to note that no power supply is submersible.
Size or Wattage
You want your power supply to be able to handle a wattage at least 15% greater than that of your light. To find the wattage you need, multiply your LED light's wattage by 1.15. This will be the lowest size power supply that you will want to use for that light. A higher-watt power supply will also be appropriate for you, but do not go under this number.
When stringing together continuous runs of LED modules and ribbon lights, you must consider voltage drop over distance. Modules can only run in 50 ft intervals and ribbons in 30 ft intervals. To acheive longer length runs, run a new power feed from the driver to each run.