White Paper: Principles of Powering LEDs

Preview

Engineers and lighting technicians know that LED lighting requires considerably less power than other forms of traditional lighting such as Incandescent, Mercury Vapor, Halogen, or in many cases, Fluorescent lighting. However, just because LEDs require less power does not mean one can power them ten-at-a-time from a single power strip or battery. Problems beyond tripping a circuit breaker may exist without the user ever realizing the problem.
    
Introduction

It is a well-known fact that LED lighting requires considerably less power than other forms of traditional lighting such as Incandescent, Mercury Vapor, Halogen, or in many cases, Fluorescent lighting. As a user of LED fixtures becomes aware of the claims of, and possibilities for, simpler and more convenient power attachments to the wall-plug and power grid, issues of concern arise where previously, they did not exist. Originally, for instance, 2,000-Watt Tungsten incandescent lights might have been wired by skilled electricians into a distribution panel, dimmer rack, or generator.

Someone who does not know the power requirements of their LED replacements, however, might unwisely try to power them ten-at-a-time from a single power strip, or even a battery. Problems beyond tripping a circuit breaker exist without the user ever knowing there could be a problem.

This paper identifies some areas of concern for powering LED lights. An in-depth look into the operation of the power systems behind LED lights is made in order for the reader to better understand the major concepts addressed. Clarification of terminology and explanations of the physics are given so that a more informed decision can be made in the purchase and use of the many available LED lights now on the market.

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