Led Lighting by Thompson Lighting Solutions

Quality LED solutions and products with market-leading innovation

LED drivers, or LED power supplies, provide LED light bulbs with the electricity required for peak performance, much like a fluorescent lamp’s magnetic ballast or a low-voltage bulb transformer. The steady stream of technological innovations and the often-confusing terminology can make LED driver selection seem overwhelming even to seasoned professionals.

What is an LED driver and why do you need one?

LEDs cannot function without three essential components: the chipset that emits the light; the driver that regulates power to the light source; and the heat sink that cools the unit. The LED driver is a vital component of the technology as LEDs use the power converted by the driver to generate light. These drivers are very efficient in converting electricity, which is why a 100W LED bulb can replace a 400W metal halide bulb.

What are the benefits of using high power efficiency drivers?

Energy efficiency is the main reason customers hunger for solid state LED lighting control systems. The use of high-efficiency drivers increases the energy savings that can be achieved. Higher efficiency power supplies dissipate less heat and result in improved product lifetime Though there are many reasons to do a LED project, most are evaluated on one basic principal…Financial Savings (revenue). A facility is billed by their Utility Company for the lighting use through a simple formula of watts x rate x hours of operation. A facility can’t decide to lower the rate it’s paying, as that rate is set by the Utility Company (and rates almost never go down). Reducing the hours of operation is not possible without negatively impacting the operation of the business. That’s two out of three, leaving watts as the only component of the formula a facility can control to reduce the cost of the lighting. It’s simple, if we reduce the wattage of the lighting by as much as 70% or more, then there should financial savings (revenue) from that reduction.

If it’s that simple, then why do some facilities that have done LED conversions, say they haven’t seen the savings they expected or in some cases, any savings?

The answer isn’t as simple as the question. LED Lighting is Solid State technology and is impacted by the power quality of that facility. Furthermore, there is a vast array of LED products on the market and a vast difference in the quality of those products. The reason some LED’s fail to perform and you find in the small print in contracts and warranties from contractors and manufactures that say they don’t represent, suggest or guarantee any savings, is because there are so many variables within the LED assembly that can fail. An incandescent light bulb has one (1) circuit but an LED can have 60 or more circuits.

The failure of any LED system, can be attributed to several factors or a combination of those factors including but limited to, the electronics, thermal management, optics, wires, connectors, seals, drivers, inexpensive components, outdated electronics in cheap LED products, running 50 hertz drivers on a 60 hertz grid, how the LED’s receive power by series or strings, lower milliamp LED being over powered, LED’s that color shift and LED’s that derogate rapidly, on and on. The life cycle estimates of a LED assembly should be estimated (TM21) at 50% derogation not catastrophic failure, as many companies do. So then, back to the question…how do I know I can count on the savings estimates for my project that have been represented to me or how can I trust that the LED’s being specified in the proposal I was given will run at the wattage represented? LED’s are tested in laboratories where high power qualities can be controlled (usually .93 or above), and the representations on the manufacturers specifications sheet report performance based on that laboratory testing.

LED’s are:
1. Energy Efficient – Reduce electric by up to 80% per fixture. Average reduction is ~65%
2. Long Lasting – 10 times more than fluorescents – Built to last ~20 years
3. Safer – Burn much cooler than other light sources – No burns, breakage, gas, lead or mercury.
4. Eco-Friendly – Burn 100% cleaner than fluorescents – No argon gas or mercury that can harm the environment. They also help prevent headaches (no flickering or humming).
5. Stronger – More durable, work well in the elements (hot, cold, damp/wet, dry conditions)
6. Consistent – They don’t fade or change color- Available in daylight white and off-white
7. Directional – You get light where you need it.
8. Instantly turn ON– No warm up time needed.