Timeguard Driving Success in LED Lighting
- Published: Wednesday, 22 April 2015 10:22
LED lighting is coming of age and is increasingly seen as a focus for energy saving. Initial price objections have been overcome as market forces bring prices down and rising energy costs, in any case, put them into perspective.
There is clearly still a lot of good business to be had in replacing old lighting with LEDs and it’s worth building your expertise and reputation in this lucrative sector.
A recent survey of installers undertaken by Timeguard showed that, when it came to choosing LED lighting and PIRs, they relied heavily on branding for quality assurance – but just what is it that you are buying into when you invest in branded goods? At Timeguard we have focussed on combining good, innovative design with quality componentry and, near the top of the list of key components are the LED drivers.
Do LED drivers really matter all that much? The answer from Timeguard managing director Andy Douglas, is an emphatic Yes. ”Compromise on the quality of the driver, and potentially you compromise on the quality of the whole installation, “he says. “Specifying the right drivers was an issue that we addressed at an early stage in the design of our NIGHTeye Ultra range of outdoor LED lighting, applying all the lessons learned at the premium end of the market and applying them to affordable products on the wholesalers’ shelves. “
Most if not all LED floodlights on the market today are built with an integral LED driver to control the LED array. In its basic format the LED driver converts the mains 230V AC power to a voltage and current suitable for running the LED array in the floodlight approximately 2 to 4VDC and current 200-1000mA, depending on the wattage of the LED array and performs in a similar way to a ballast used in a fluorescent lighting circuit. Importantly the driver needs to control the LED’s power level ensuring it is maintained at a constant level as the LED arrays electrical properties change as temperature increases and decreases whilst in use. An LED driver that does not perform this task efficiently may allow the LED array to become too hot and unstable resulting in poor performance of the floodlight or complete failure.
So is there any way of knowing what quality of driver is inside the floodlight?
Well this is obviously a very leading question and suffice to say there are many designs of LED driver available designed to perform specific tasks and to operate with different LED array configurations i.e. constant current, constant voltage and dimming, but in general there are 4 commonly used designs of LED driver used in non-dimmable LED floodlights ranging from the very basic poor efficiency (0.2 - 0.5 power factor) to the high efficiency (0.7 – 0.95 power factor) designs.
At Timeguard we pride ourselves on producing only high efficiency products with the NIGHTeye Ultra LEDX range of floodlights all being equipped with high efficiency 0.95 power factor drivers and most importantly built using only quality components a key factor when looking for a quality product that you want to fit and forget.
For indoor use, LEDs are now easily integrated with circuits to control dimming to create and enhance moods, and these functions can respond to pre-set commands or occupant presence or commands. Drivers with dimming capability can dim the LED light output over virtually the full range. However, there is no agreed standard for LED drivers, which has made specifying a device to control dimmable LED lighting challenging. However Theben, Timeguard’s parent company, has stepped up to the plate with its range of DIMAX plus universal dimmers for interior dimming and scene setting.