Isolated Vs Non Isolated Drivers is a question often asked. First let me explain what the purpose of an LED driver is, often the term driver gets used when in fact in simple terms this is a power source. Like most electronic devices it first receives input power from the grid either 120V, 208V, 277VAC or higher. Light emitting diodes (LED) for the vast majority of applications use D.C ( direct current) power, the grid supplies A.C (Alternating Current ) power so the power supply must convert AC power into DC power, secondly the incoming voltage from the grid is far too high to directly energize an LED diode, so the power supply must step down that voltage to a safer level, somewhere in the 36 -45 volt range.
Isolated power supplies
In simple terms all this means is that there is a break in the electrical circuit created by the use of a transformer to step down the higher input voltage to a lower output voltage. This makes the power supply (Driver ) very safe due to no electrical conductivity.
Non Isolated Power Supply
Non Isolated Power supplies use electronics to step down voltages and therefore have an electrical connection between high and low voltage. Non isolated power supplies have an efficiency advantage over the older transformer technology and typically reach efficiencies of 90% compared to 86% for an isolated device using a transformer.
In terms of safety both Isolated Vs Non Isolated Drivers are both types of power supply that have to pass Underwriters Laboratory (UL) testing, so concerns about potential for shock and other related safety concerns should be alleviated when UL listing is applied to any electrical device. For highest efficiency you need a non isolated power supply, if regulations permit the use of this style in the application you require.
LED Lighting saves energy and lowers costs, knowing the benefits of isolated or non isolated drivers is just one aspect of understanding how to benefit the maximum from this high efficiency technology. Call vootu at 727 314 8656 for advice on how to save the most when installing LED and how to protect your investment from premature failure. Its what you don’t know that causes energy waste and high costs.