Which LED power supply for the LED strip

LED lighting is becoming increasingly popular around the world. This allows to create unique arrangements and save financial resources. LED strips are characterized by high resistance to mechanical damage and long, energy-efficient life.

Unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs emit directional light that does not produce losses after distribution. In contrast, incandescent bulbs shine in all directions. Another advantage in favor of LED lighting is its efficiency and size. LEDs that shine with the same intensity as an incandescent bulb are much smaller. In practice, this means more comprehensive application and the possibility of creating discreet lighting compositions even in small spaces. 

In addition, LEDs reach a lower temperature during operation than conventional incandescent lamps, which waste much of their energy on heat generation. These are the main reasons that prove that choosing LED light sources is the best investment.

Do not forget about the appropriate equipment because only high-quality LED power supplies guarantee the reliability and stability of the system. 

LED Power supply for LED strip – what is it?

However, before selecting the LED power supply, we should explain this device. It is described as a current transformer. As a result, the lamps receive precisely the amount of current they need at a given time. The device also converts the 230-volt current in our sockets into 12 or 24 volts so that the lamps work correctly.

Contrary to appearances, a standard electronic transformer is not sufficient for a LED strip as used in most appliances. Which transformer for LED is the right one in this case? Here you require a pulse device with stabilized voltage. The power consumption of this device depends on the load and the power of the entire connected system.

How to select a LED power supply for the LED strip?

We calculate the power of the device.

Many people select to use LED lighting with strips. They are usually used to light ceilings, kitchen cabinets, niches, moldings, or other nooks and crannies. It can be easy to implement if we rely on ready-made sets of LED tape and power supply. After purchase, all that remains is installing the LED strip in the intended place. However, many questions and problems arise when the lengths to be illuminated are too long, and you have to select the LED strip lights and LED drivers yourself. In this case, there are several important factors to consider, which we will compile in this guide. If you haven’t shopped yet, look at what LED strip you should select for the LED lighting project.

LED Power supply for LED strip – which one to pick?

Before picking power supplies, many people wonder which power supply for LED 12v? It is worth considering the length of the planned strip and the conditions in which the device will work. It is crucial to consider the protective devices with which the element is equipped and affect safety during use. Therefore, before choosing, it is worth carefully determining the above factors.

What kind of power supplies should I choose for LED strip lights?

The basis for the choice should be the power and capabilities and the design. With LED technology development, many solutions have been developed, but the most popular are two types of power supplies.

There are 2 types of power supplies:

– traditional LED power supplies,

– pulse LED power supplies,

We will focus on the latter in the following, as the traditional ones are already quite outdated, have low efficiency, consume more power, and are larger, which is a big problem for LED strips and lamps.

Switching power supplies for LEDs are most commonly used due to their low failure rate, ergonomics, and small size. Thus, they can be hidden in soffits or other invisible places.

In the same application, the Graetz, as mentioned above bridge plays an essential role in this device right from the start, rectifying the AC voltage and smoothing its peak value with capacitors. In this way, a DC voltage with a high value is obtained, which is filtered by LC circuits (inductors and capacitors). This is just a general explanation of how a power supply works, which we will not go into further. Choose an LED power supply; the choice should be a switching power supply.

Safety features of the LED power supply

LEDs are very economical devices and do not require much energy to produce strong light. However, they also have disadvantages, which are undoubtedly the sensitivity to voltage fluctuation or temperature. In this case, what power supply for LED tape should we use to make our tape work long and efficiently? Preferably, one whose good quality is confirmed by certificates and guarantees.

Dimmable power supply

TRIAC dimmer

Power supply for LED strip

What kind of power supply should I buy to make the LED strip light up? It depends on the length, lamps’ number, and their power consumption. In other words, how much power the device needs to work properly. As a rule, a mark on the LED strips indicates how many watts of power one meter of tape needs to work effectively and efficiently. Decorative tapes with bright lights have this factor at 4.8 W per meter. On the other hand, more powerful accessories can require up to 19.2 W/m. 

This factor can be found on the tape and multiplied by the number of running meters of the strips. The result obtained is the smallest value that the power supply should have. It should also be remembered that the selected power supply for the LED strip should be slightly more powerful. Ideally, the power should be 10-20% higher. Buying a much more powerful product can lead to faster strip wear or even burn it.

Operating conditions of the LED driver for LED Strip Lights

LED lighting lamps on tapes are placed in many places. Often it is the interior of a flat, but sometimes it is an industrial building or a garden. Therefore, one of the most important factors that we should consider is how the LED strip will work. Which power supply for dusty rooms is the best? And which LED power supply is suitable for outdoor or humid environments?

The number on each ribbon indicates the strength of the LED power supply. It starts with the letters IP and is followed by a two-digit number combination. It is worth looking for it because it answers whether the device can not be damaged by moisture or ignition. How to decipher this symbol?

IP is nothing but the abbreviation of International Protection and is invariable for any device. The first digit indicates the degree of protection against dust, the next digit the degree of protection against moisture. A higher number means that the device is equipped with better protection.

The lowest value that appears on the protection degree is IP20. The device is protected against light dust, but not against moisture. If we want to use this device in a flat or dry office space, such power supplies for LED strips are sufficient. However, it is worth paying more attention to the first digit of the marking if the device is used in workplaces or dusty areas. 

It is crucial when the device is installed in the bathroom or outside. Then it is exposed to moisture, and sometimes it can even be underwater. It is necessary to determine exactly where the LED strip will be used and what power supply we need. The best protection against moisture and dust device has the symbol IP68. Such a product is entirely dustproof and moisture resistant, even if it is constantly immersed in water. 

When buying a device, you should pay attention to whether it is equipped with the following protections:

– short circuit

– Overvoltage,

– Overcurrent (overload),

– Temperature.

Each protects the tape from instabilities in the power grid and turns off the lights when necessary. If we do not invest in a suitable device, we will lose the entire installation and incur high costs. It should be remembered that power supplies for LED strips from 5 m in length should be safe above all.

What devices should not be used to power LED lights?

Some people may think buying a special power supply is unnecessary. A small power supply for 5 m LED strips can replace another device usually not designed to power LED strips. Unfortunately, such an attempt to reduce expenses can have tragic consequences. First, it can lead to the destruction or damage to the tape. If you try to claim damaged LED strips, the manufacturer will refuse, saying that his device was not used for its intended purpose. It will then turn out that the correct power supply for LEDs would have cost less.

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