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Question... What is an LED Driver and which do I need?

When buying LED Strip Lights, you will also need an LED Driver.

What is an LED Driver?

An LED Driver (also called a transformer) is a unit that matches its output to the voltage and current requirements of the device it serves. In the case of LED Strip Lights, the driver "steps down" the mains voltage from 240 to 12 volts and changes the current from AC (Alternating Current) to DC (Direct Current).

Drivers come in many shapes and sizes. The kind you need depends on the type of power outlet you are using and the size of your installation.

What types of LED Driver are available?

We offer two main types of driver; "plug and play" and mains ready.

"Plug and play" drivers are designed to work from a standard power outlet. They are fitted with a standard 13 amp, 3-pin plug for immediate installation. This also allows the strip lights to be relocated if desired.

Mains ready drivers can be connected directly into your home's existing lighting circuits, and allows the strip lights to be operated from a new or existing light switch. The strip lights cannot be moved once installed, but does make for a more stylish lighting experience.

Your driver also needs to be large enough to manage the power consumption of your strips. All drivers have a maximum load which needs to be equal to or more than the wattage of your strips.

To calculate the wattage of your strips, multiply the wattage per metre by the number of metres you are using. For instance, our single colour 60 LED 5050 strip lights uses 14.4 watts per metre. If you are using 5 metres, the overall load will come to 72 watts, therefore requiring an 100 watt driver.

A single driver can be used to power more than one length of LED Strip Lights. For example, if you are installing a length of strip light in two seperate areas, but want to run them from the same driver, you can use a terminal block to split the circuit. This is particularly useful when using colour changing LED Strip Lights, as it allows you to synchronise your lights.

Some drivers will come with an IP rated enclosure that makes them suitable for use in wet and damp conditions. Always check the IP rating of your LED Drivers before installing LED Strip Lights in the kitchen, bathroom or close to any source of moisture.

For any more information about LED Drivers please call 0116 321 4121 or email support@ledstriplights.co.uk.

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